(JTA) — A Republican Jewish Coalition board member has issued a statement supporting Stephen Bannon, who was appointed chief strategist for President-elect Donald Trump.
Tuesday’s statement from Bernie Marcus, a co-founder of Home Depot, comes in response to condemnations of Bannon aired since his appointment Sunday, in part from several Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League.
Marcus calls the attacks on Bannon, which criticize him for having ties to white supremacists and anti-Semites, “nothing more than an attempt to undermine the incoming Trump administration,” according to Time magazine.
“I have been shocked and saddened to see the recent personal attacks on Steve,” reads the statement, as tweeted by Time reporter Zeke Miller. “Nothing could be further from the truth. The person that is being demonized in the media is not the person I know.”
Bannon was formerly the chairman of Breitbart News, a site that Bannon called “the platform for the alt-right,” a loose movement of the far right whose followers traffic variously in white nationalism, anti-immigration sentiment, anti-Semitism and a disdain for “political correctness.”
Marcus says in the statement that Bannon is stridently pro-Israel.
“I have known Steve to be a passionate Zionist and supporter of Israel who felt so strongly about this that he opened a Breitbart office in Israel to ensure that the true pro-Israel story would get out,” the statement reads. “What is being done to Steve Bannon is a shonda,” a Yiddishism for a shame or a scandal.