Greene, Under Fire, Fires Back

Greene, Under Fire, Fires Back

Rebuked for linking COVID-19 measures to Jewish suffering at the Nazis’ hands, the controversial Georgia congresswoman was on the offensive the night of May 27.

Dave Schechter is a veteran journalist whose career includes writing and producing reports from Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks at an America First rally with Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in Dalton, Georgia on May 27th, 2021 // Nathan Posner for the AJT
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks at an America First rally with Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in Dalton, Georgia on May 27th, 2021 // Nathan Posner for the AJT

Speaking Thursday night on home turf, Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene attacked targets on the other side of the political aisle.

“You know the Nazis were the National Sociality Party. Just like the Democrats are now a national socialist party,” Greene, who represents the 14th district in northwest Georgia, told an “America First” rally in Dalton.

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib as “The Jihad Squad”.

Her harshest comments were directed toward Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the “jihad squad,” a play on the nickname of several progressive Democratic women in the House. Greene told her audience that while Hamas fired rockets into Israel, “We had members of the jihad squad saying shame on Israel for defending themselves. How about that?”

Naming Democratic congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, “and the rest of the gang,” Greene said: “They support BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), which hurts Israel’s economy. They want to boycott their goods. That’s what our United States members of Congress support, hurting Israel’s economy. They support Hamas, bombing Israel.”

Matt Brooks called Greene “an embarrassment to yourself and the GOP.”

The event in Dalton was the latest in a series of rallies featuring Greene and Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.

 Greene has been under fire this past week for twice likening aspects of the COVID-19 response to the cruelty of the Nazis’ “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”

Those comments met with widespread rebuke, including from the Republican House leadership, the Republican Jewish Coalition, a U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum board member, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum.

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) host an America First rally in Dalton, Georgia on May 27th, 2021. // Nathan Posner for the AJT.

The first controversial comment came during a May 21 interview on “The Water Cooler with David Brody” podcast, where she compared a requirement, instituted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that masks be worn on the House floor to Jewish suffering during the Holocaust. ”You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany, and this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about,” Greene said.

Greene’s second attention-grabbing remark came in a Tuesday morning Twitter post about a logo that a Knoxville, Tennessee, supermarket added to the badges of vaccinated employees. “Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s [sic] forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” she wrote.

Jeff Miller offered to arrange a visit for Greene to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Between 1939-45, various entities under Nazi control required Jews to wear a star of David emblem on their clothing, the most prominent example being a yellow star bearing the word “Jude,” German for Jew. According to the USHMM website, the stars were “a key element of their larger plan to persecute and eventually to annihilate the Jewish population of Europe. They used the badge not only to stigmatize and humiliate Jews but also to segregate them, to watch and control their movements, and to prepare for deportation.”

Kevin McCarthy said comparing “the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling.”

In a statement issued Tuesday, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, of California, said: “Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling. At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust. Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language.”

On Feb 4, the Democrat-controlled House stripped Greene of her committee assignments, following a series of incendiary comments.

A particularly blunt response to Greene was posted on Twitter by Jeff Miller, a board member of both USHMM and the RJC. Miller, who has been a political advisor to McCarthy and a Republican Party fundraiser, is the founder and CEO of a political consulting firm, and the principal of a global tax services firm.

Nancy Mace called Greene’s comments “disgraceful” and “appalling.”

“WTF is wrong with you?” Miller asked in his post, which continued: “I think you need to pay a visit to the US Holocaust Museum.I’d be happy to arrange.Then maybe going forward you wouldn’t make anymore disgusting, ignorant and offensive tweets.If I’m wrong and you’re not ignorant about Holocaust..then you are disgusting.”

Greene was reproached similarly by RJC executive director Matt Brooks. “Please educate yourself so that you can realize how absolutely wrong and inappropriate it is to compare proof of vaccination with the 6 million Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis. You’re an embarrassment to yourself and the GOP,” Brooks wrote on Twitter. The RJC endorsed her August 2020 Republican runoff opponent and did not endorse her as the Republican candidate in November’s general election.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum, which maintains the site of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp in southern Poland, also responded on Twitter: “The instrumentalization of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, isolated in ghettos & murdered during the Holocaust, in a debate on different systems that aim at protecting public health is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”

Jews were an estimated 90 percent of the 1.1 million-plus men, women, and children murdered at Auschwitz, a complex of camps that included the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. In addition to an estimated 6 million Jews, 5 million others died at the hands of the Nazis in the Holocaust, for reasons that included their religion, politics, infirmity, or sexual orientation.

Along with calling Greene’s comments “disgraceful” and “appalling,” fellow first-term Republican colleague Nancy Mace of South Carolina posted on Twitter a graphic that included a box asking “Am I thinking about comparing something to the Holocaust?” A line led to a box that read “No,” then to another reading “Good choice.” A second line from the top led to a box that said “Yes,” which led to a box reading “You should not do that.”

For her part, Greene later claimed on Twitter that: “I never compared it to the Holocaust, only the discrimination against Jews in early Nazi years. Stop feeding into the left wing media attacks on me. Everyone should be concerned about the squads support for terrorists and discrimination against unvaxxed people. Why aren’t they?” The “squads” to whom Greene referred were the same House Democratic women that Greene decried in her Thursday night speech.

read more: