Jewish Groups Express Concern Over Comments by Presumptive Nominee to Be U.S. Ambassador to Germany
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Jewish Groups Express Concern Over Comments by Presumptive Nominee to Be U.S. Ambassador to Germany

Jewish Journal | ByAaron Bandler | July 29, 2020

Photo by: rawf8 / Shutterstock


A couple of Jewish groups have expressed concern over past remarks made by the presumptive nominee to be the next United States Ambassador to Germany regarding neoconservatives and the Israeli government.


Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) reported that President Donald Trump intended to nominate retired Col. Douglas Macgregor, a decorated combat veteran, for the position. Macgregor said in a 2012 interview with The Daily Bell that neoconservatives make “decisions in Washington that in their minds are beneficial to a foreign power and are not necessarily good for the American people.”


He then said it was wrong to state that Jews always support the actions of the Israeli government.


“What you have are numbers of people who call themselves neocons,” Macgregor said. “They operate in a variety of settings in the government and in the media, and they support or advocate, for all intents and purposes, unconditional support for whatever the Israeli government wants to do. They are by no means the majority and they are by no means representative of what I would call Americans who happen to be Jewish.”


Jewish groups called these remarks anti-Semitic.


“This is nothing more than a repackaging of the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory alleging that Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to the countries of which they are citizens,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said in a statement. “As the child of Holocaust survivors, I know too well how dangerous such rhetoric can be. Disagreements over policy should focus on ideas, not hateful attacks alleging disloyalty or dual loyalties.”


B’nai Brith International similarly said in a statement that the term “neoconservative” is “is often used as a euphemism for Jews.”


“It is important that American diplomats not question the patriotism of other Americans who hold political views different from their own, especially given that questioning Jewish loyalty to America is an anti-Semitic trope,” the statement added.


B’nai Brith also said the organization was concerned about Macgregor’s past comments on Iran, including saying in 2019 that “there’s no evidence that Iran wants to attack us” and that Trump’s “neocon” advisers were responsible for the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani earlier in 2020.


“It is vital that the American ambassador to Germany, whose work includes diplomatic negotiations on sanctions against the Iranian regime, Hezbollah’s presence in Europe and other aspects of Iran’s global reach, understand the severity of Iran’s belligerence and support for terrorism,” B’nai Brith said. “Combating anti-Semitism is an important priority for the U.S.-German bilateral relationship, which adds to our concern over his record of insensitivity in speaking about Jews.”


The White House did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment.


If the Senate confirms Macgregor, he would succeed Richard Grenell, who served in the role from 2018-20.


Read the full article here.

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