Elected Jewish Chicago Leaders Scorch Brandon Johnson in Letter Declining ‘Roundtable’ Meeting Invite

2024-04-14 14:00:56

Like many woke Democrats, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has been no friend to the Jewish community in the aftermath of the October 7th Hamas terrorist attacks, something that was confirmed when Johnson cast the deciding vote in favor of a meaningless ceasefire resolution from the Chicago City Council in February.

There have been many other issues with his lack of leadership as well, something that was explained in a scathing letter written by three elected Jewish leaders Friday explaining why they were declining a meeting invite for a Monday roundtable discussion on antisemitism in the Windy City:

In a letter sent Friday declining the invitation, Chicago Ald. Debra Silverstein, 50th Ward, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, and Rep. Bob Morgan pointed to Johnson’s tie-breaking vote in support of a resolution calling for a cease-fire in the ongoing war in Gaza as one example of Johnson’s “stunning failure in leadership.” The letter went on to cite Johnson’s support for Chicago Public School students walking out in support of a cease-fire, among other reasons, as more evidence of their dissatisfaction with Johnson’s support of the Jewish community.

“True change can only start at the top. Before calling for a roundtable on antisemitism, a true leader should begin by demonstrating a modicum of empathy for the Jewish community — we have seen none of that,” the letter read.

Here’s the full letter:

Silverstein, Feigenholtz, and Morgan are all Democrats, which just further demonstrates the way that the issue of the Israel-Hamas war has deeply divided their Party.

In addition to their decline of the invitation, two Jewish groups also confirmed they had turned down the offer:

Representatives from multiple Jewish groups were also invited to the meeting, and we’ve learned the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish United Fund also declined the invitation.

ADL Midwest Regional Director David Goldenberg pointed to a video showing anti-Israel activists who gathered for a meeting on how to disrupt the upcoming Democratic National Convention cheering Iran’s attack on Israel as another example of why the ADL had no interest in the Johnson roundtable:

Jewish United Fund executive Vice President Jay Tcath explained that he felt the meeting was more about Brandon Johnson wanting to claim he was trying to do something about the rising antisemitism in Chicago without actually having to do anything about it:

Goals of the roundtable include informing the mayor’s policies to address antisemitism and for the Johnson administration to share its approach for engaging the Jewish community, Tcath said. But he said his group was concerned the invitation was not sincere, and that the meeting would have been used to “simply check off that he reached out and had this meeting and that business would continue as usual.”

“Based upon our experiences the last six months, there wasn’t trust that it would be a productive use of our time,” Tcath said, “and that we wouldn’t be exploited for his own political posturing.”

That’s an incredibly important point to make in all of this.

We’ve seen Democrats like Reps. Jamaal Bowman (NY) and Summer Lee (PA) pay lip service to supporting Israel and the Jewish community, but when they think no one is paying attention, they stand shoulder to shoulder with antisemitic groups and figures who would love nothing more than to have Israel wiped off the map.

Talk is cheap, and if all elected officials are doing is talk the talk about supporting Israel without walking the walk, then as far as I’m concerned, they should be given their pink slips by voters. Because until voters in these deep blue cities/states have decided they’ve had enough, none of this will change. None of it.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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Elected Jewish Chicago Leaders Scorch Brandon Johnson in Letter Declining ‘Roundtable’ Meeting Invite


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