(JTA) — An Israeli diplomat said he was “appalled” by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s likening of President Joe Biden to Adolf Hitler, warning that such rhetoric fuels violence.
“I am appalled by this cynical use of Nazi imagery and Hitler comparisons by a member of the United States Congress,” said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity and of not stating where he is based, in a statement Friday to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “As we face a rise in antisemitic incidents, in the U.S. and around the world, rhetoric like this only fuels the persistent threat of hatred, extremism, and violence.”
The anonymity stemmed from the sensitive nature of the criticism. It is extraordinary for an Israeli diplomat to speak out against an individual American lawmaker, especially on an issue not directly having to do with Israel.
Greene, a Georgia Republican who has a history of inflammatory comments, was reacting in a series of tweets to a speech Biden delivered Thursday in Philadelphia warning of the threat to democracy from what he called “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans.” Greene very much identifies with the “Make America Great Again” wing of the party associated with the former president.
“Joe Biden is Hitler,” she said in one tweet. “#NaziJoe has got to go.”
In another tweet, she ran a doctored video of the speech in which Biden is surrounded by swastikas and sporting a Hitler mustache, and audio of Hitler speaking is playing.
The Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee also called out Greene.
“That a member of Congress would consider this funny, let alone acceptable is disgraceful,” its executive director, Jonathan Greenblatt, said on Twitter. “With one post and a doctored video, @RepMTG managed to trivialize Hitler and the Nazis’ sheer evil and belittle the serious threat that extremism poses to this country. Absolutely shameful.”
“This doctored video is vile, offensive, and completely unbecoming for a member of Congress,” the American Jewish Committee tweeted. “House Republican leaders must condemn her conduct.”
Greene has been subject to criticism multiple times — including by members of Congress — for likening various things she doesn’t like to the Holocaust, for associating with white supremacists and for embracing antisemitic tropes about the Jewish Rothschild family. The Republican Jewish Coalition has repeatedly condemned her rhetoric and has backed primary opponents seeking to unseat her.