Debbie Wasserman Schultz is now attempting damage control after audio surfaced last week of her telling a Jewish audience that “too many” Jews are marrying non-Jews.
“We have the problem of assimilation. We have the problem of intermarriage,” the Democratic National Committee chairwoman said at the Jan. 16 event for a south Florida branch of the Jewish Federation. “We have the problem that too many generations of Jews don’t realize the importance of our institutions strengthening our community – particularly with the rise of anti-Semitism and global intolerance, which obviously we saw in horrific technicolor in just the last week in Paris.”
At that event — audio from which was obtained by the Florida-based blog The Shark Tank — Wasserman Schultz began her remarks by mentioning her husband and children. She spoke about how she became involved in the Jewish Federation shortly after college. Wasserman Schultz’s resume shows that she became involved in the Fort Lauderdale chapter of the organization. (RELATED: Leaked Audio: Wasserman Schultz Slams MSNBC For Anti-Israel Bias, Offers Other Candid Remarks)
But the Florida congresswoman is now distancing herself from those remarks in a statement released through the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday, NBC News reported.
“At an annual Jewish community event in my congressional district, I spoke about my personal connection to Judaism and in a larger context about the loss of Jewish identity and the importance of connecting younger generations to the institutions and values that make up our community,” Wasserman Schultz said in the statement. “I do not oppose intermarriage; in fact, members of my family, including my husband, are a product of it.”
Wasserman Schultz offered other candid remarks in her talk. She discussed a recent segment she saw on MSNBC which she said portrayed Israel as the aggressor in the conflict with Palestinians.
Calling the segment “troubling,” Wasserman Schultz said, “My first thought was where is the balance, where is the spotlight on what Jewish children in Israel go through from being victims of rocket attacks?”
Wasserman Schultz also identified “Islamic fundamentalists” as responsible for the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere.