Max Rose Apologizes To Constituents For Ilhan Omar’s ‘Anti-Semitic Tropes’

Congressman Max Rose Addressing Mr. Avigdor Fried At Staten Island COJO Town Hall meeting on 03.19.2019 Photo: Shimon Gifter

Staten Island      On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at the JCC located in the Seaview section of Staten Island, the Staten Island Council of Jewish Organizations hosted an evening with Congressman Max Rose.

The town hall meeting was, “COJO-SI’s formal way of congratulating Congressman Rose on his election as Staten Island Congressman,” stated Mendy Mirocznik, president of COJO-SI. Mirocznik. Mirocznick added, “The townhall also afforded Congressman Rose the opportunity to intimately interact with his constituency and gave the members of the audience the opportunity to interact and express their concerns. This truly is what government is all about- Listening to the needs of the people and addressing their needs.”

Congressman Rose promised on the campaign trail to hold town hall meetings and listen to constituents needs and so far he is fulfilling that promise every day.

The town hall meeting got testy at one point with a constituent named Avigdor Fried.

CNN reports: The Jewish freshman Democratic congressman apologized to his constituents earlier this week for “not being able to protect” them from comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar that were widely condemned by the Jewish community as anti-Semitic.

Rep. Max Rose, whose district encompasses Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, also pledged at a town hall Tuesday that he will work as “hard as I can to make sure that these comments are not made again,” as posted by www.youtube.com/gifterphotos
Rose’s remarks are the latest example of the infighting within the new Democratic House majority over the US relationship with Israel and the influence of pro-Israel supporters on US foreign policy. Last month, Omar, who is one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, apologized after she suggested money was behind politicians’ support for Israel, and later generated controversy after she insinuated that pro-Israel groups were pushing “allegiance to a foreign country.”
The comments were seen as trafficking in anti-Semitic stereotypes and were widely condemned on Capitol Hill by both Democrats and Republicans, with Rose saying at the time that the remarks were “deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.”
At Tuesday’s COJO of Staten Island town hall meeting, Rose spoke at length about the issue. “The first thing I did up here is apologizing that I couldn’t protect us from it. That’s the first thing I did because this is about being a leader,” Rose said at the event.
He later said, “I went on national TV, and I said that as a Jewish, Army combat veteran, her comments were deeply hurtful and offensive and I have allegiance to the United States of America.”
An exchange between Rose and one of his constituents grew contentious when Rose was pressed about why he eventually accepted the freshman congresswoman’s apology.
https://youtu.be/P6STLEcqNO0
“You know why I did that? Because I am an adult. That’s why I did that. Because my goal was to continue the quiet and non-glamorous actions of coalition-building and trying to protect the people in this room from those comments being made,” Rose said.
Rose also said he agreed with House Democrats’ decision to not remove Omar from her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. But he vowed to remain “vigilant” in protecting the Jewish community from those comments being made again.
“I’m going to continue working as hard as I can to make sure that these comments are not made again,” he said. “That’s what I owe you, irrespective of who you support, that’s what I owe each and every one of you.”

COJO-SI’s venerable CEO and Executive Vice-President Scott Maurer interviewed
Congressman for approximately 45 minutes which was followed by a lively question and answer period. Maurer felt that the interview and question and answer period demonstrated a dialogue that captivated the audience and caused great participation. Maurer said, “It is only through such a give and takes and discussion that an elected official gains a feel of what is on the mind of their constituents. I am proud that I had the opportunity to facilitate this townhall and help connect the people in attendance to Congressman Rose.”

The highlight of the evening was the singing of the National Anthem and the musical
performance by the Children of the Jewish Foundation School of Staten and Island, and the
presentation of a Congressional Certificate to Leor Edri, a senior of the school. Mirocznik
stated, “the best civics class is to get the children interested. The smiles on the children faces after they performed and how Leor was beaming is proof that we succeeded in this vital civic lesson.”

Congressman Rose concluded the night by thanking, “COJO-SI for bringing a broad
spectrum of the Staten Island community together for meaningful discussion and civic
engagement. I cannot emphasize enough how proud I am of Scott Maurer and Mendy Mirocznik and how valuable and appreciated  COJO’s work in building bridges among the diverse communities of Staten Island and connecting them with their governmental representatives and elected officials. I look forward to my continued collaboration with COJO as I partner with such important community organizations in further advocating for the district.”

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