Kentucky Governor: No Place for Antisemitism in Kentucky


FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear stated Thursday there isn’t any place for antisemitism within the state after a Republican state lawmaker expounded on the sexual habits of Jewish ladies throughout a legislative debate, a monologue characterised by a number of Jewish teams as “weird.”

The governor didn’t specify the goal of his feedback however spoke generally phrases on social media after the third current occasion of remarks by GOP lawmakers that had been condemned as antisemitic.

“There is no such thing as a place for antisemitism in Kentucky,” the Democratic governor wrote on his official Twitter account. “Not in our communities and never in our authorities. We’re all equal and great components of Crew Kentucky the place we love our neighbors as ourselves.” “

The outcry hit a crescendo after Rep. Danny Bentley commented Wednesday on the Holocaust and his notion of the sexual habits of Jewish ladies. He spoke throughout an extended Home debate on laws to manage the shelling out of abortion tablets.

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Throughout a committee listening to final month, Rep. Walker Thomas and Sen. Rick Girdler each used the phrase “Jew them down” in reference to a state lease settlement.

All three legislators later apologized for his or her remarks, however Jewish teams stated the feedback uncovered an issue that must be addressed. The teams supplied to offer coaching to legislators about understanding and combating antisemitism.

“The Kentucky Common Meeting has an antisemitism drawback,” stated Melanie Maron Pell, chief area operations officer with the American Jewish Committee.

“They should fine-tune their sensibilities” and converse out towards antisemitic feedback, she added.

Whereas talking on the abortion invoice, Bentley stated: “Do you know {that a} Jewish girl has much less most cancers of the cervix than every other race on this nation or this world? And why is that? As a result of the Jewish ladies solely have one intercourse associate… They do not have a number of intercourse companions. To say that the Jewish folks approve of this drug now could be incorrect. “

Bentley additionally falsely stated RU-486, or mifepristone, considered one of two tablets taken to terminate pregnancies, was developed throughout World Struggle II and was known as Zyklon B, the gasoline that killed Jews within the Holocaust. He added that “the one that developed (it) was a Jew.”

Jewish teams condemned Bentley’s remarks as “a weird, antisemitic rant that included outlandish claims in regards to the intercourse lives of Jewish ladies and the outrageous assertion that Jews created the ‘abortion tablet’ through the Holocaust to revenue financially.”

The response got here from the American Jewish Committee, together with the Jewish Neighborhood Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Louisville and the Nationwide Council of Jewish Girls’s Louisville Part.

The teams reminded lawmakers that “phrases matter and management issues.”

In his apology, Bentley stated he meant “completely no hurt” in his remarks and stated he stands “with the Jewish group towards hatred.”

Within the committee listening to final month, Thomas made the primary use of the phrase “Jew them down,” the Lexington Herald-Chief reported. Girdler repeated Thomas’ phrases however shortly acknowledged their impropriety, the newspaper reported.

“We have got a consultant up right here (asking) when you may Jew them down a bit of bit on the value,” Girdler stated. “That ain’t the best phrase to make use of. ‘Drop them down,’ I suppose. ‘

Thomas stated he had heard the phrase all through his life and apologized, the newspaper reported.

Democratic state Sen. Karen Berg, who’s Jewish, stated the remarks spurring the controversy had been “deeply disturbing.” Antisemitic rhetoric “followers the flames of division in our nation,” she stated.

“As elected officers, our job is to symbolize Kentuckians of all backgrounds and dispel misinformation,” she stated Thursday. “Now we have come a good distance, however we should do higher in opening our hearts and minds and educating ourselves on the realities of others.”

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