Allegations against Clinton aide concerns American Jews
Rep. Michele Bachmann has incurred the wrath of leading Jewish groups and some Republican leaders, even though she may be one of Israel’s staunchest defenders in Congress and one of its best-known Republicans.
The reaction was spurred by the Minnesota congresswoman’s call for an inquiry into allegations that Huma Abedin, a top aide to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Some of the toughest condemnations of Bachmann have come from major Jewish groups.
The allegations, and the apparent split among some in the Republican leadership over whether to denounce them, underscore a return in recent years to scapegoating “outsiders,” according to the Jewish leaders who slammed Bachmann for launching what they called a “witch hunt.”
“It’s likes someone who says there’s a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world,” Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center, said in a JTA interview. “And then they say prove it’s not true. What proof can you bring to ideologues who want to believe it’s true?”
Saperstein’s July 17 statement was the first among Jewish leaders to deplore Bachmann’s call — and one of the toughest.
“I am deeply troubled by the allegations made by Rep. Michelle Bachmann and other Members of Congress in letters to the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense and State asserting that respected government officials and religious organizations are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood,” he wrote. “The letters assert that Huma Abedin, Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary Clinton, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and ISNA President Imam Mohammed Magid are all connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, posing a potential security risk to the United States.
“The Reform Movement, and I personally, have worked with Ms. Abedin, Imam Magid and ISNA for many years,” he continued. “All have worked on behalf of U.S. interests at home and abroad, built relationships across religious lines and affirmed U.S. constitutional values.”