PRESS RELEASE: Israel Heritage Foundation Calls for Rep. Jayapal’s Removal as Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus

The Israel Heritage Foundation today called for Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s removal as Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus after she referred to Israel as a “racist state.”

At a recent conference organized by the progressive group Netroots Nation, Rep. Jayapal said, “I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state, that the Palestinian people deserve self-determination and autonomy, that the dream of a two-state solution is slipping away from us.” Rep. Jayapal later tried to walk back her comments, saying that, “Words do matter and so it is important that I clarify my statement. I do not believe the idea of Israel as a nation is racist.” However, the congresswoman opined in her written clarification that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “extreme right-wing government has engaged in discriminatory and outright racist policies.”

“It is unconscionable that a Member of Congress would openly refer to one of Israel’s closest allies as a ‘racist state,’ and even her alleged apology unabashedly attacks the democratic State of Israel by alleging that its government engages in ‘discriminatory and outright racist policies,’” said Farley Weiss, chairman of the Israel Heritage Foundation. “Rep. Jayapal’s antisemitic attacks on the one and only Jewish state are reprehensible and render her unfit for any sort of leadership position in Congress. There can be no acceptance within the Democratic Party and among the Democratic Party leadership for those advocating antisemitic views. We therefore call for her immediate removal as Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”