LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – The Bracken County Republican Party shared a post on Friday morning about the new director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Steve Dettelbach. In the since deleted Facebook post, Dettelbach was referred to as part of the “Jewish junta.”
“It’s an attempt to silence our community and we will not be silenced,” said chair of the Kentucky Jewish Council, Rabbi Shlomo Litvin.
“There’s a line that’s been making its way around social media, ‘the Jews are tired.’ That was initially a large part of my response,” said Rabbi Litvin.
Later in the day on Friday, Bracken County GOP chair Karin Kirkendol responded to the situation on the party’s Facebook page.
“Earlier today, I was made aware of an inappropriate post on the Bracken County GOP Facebook page. That post does not represent the values of the Bracken County Republican Party. It was incredibly insensitive. We will investigate how this occurred and we commit to tighter oversight of our social media going forward,” said Kirkendol in the post.
According to the Courier-Journal, Kirkendol later told them that the page was hack and they decided to delete the entire Facebook page “due to the harmful nature of the article.”
“Regardless of where it came from, it was posted on their page. They now have a responsibility to stand with anyone who can read and say the idea that Jews are running the government is a fake antisemitic trope that has no basis in reality,” said Rabbi Litvin.
Rabbi Litvin said this is not the first time he has had to respond to a situation like this so far this year.
“From the attempted assassination of a member of the Jewish community running for mayor in Louisville, to cries of ‘Jew them down’ in the state, to an op-ed in the Courier-Journal saying that the Jews are faking antisemitism…and now this. An accusation from a local republican party that Jews are running the government,” said Rabbi Litvin.
He explained that this isn’t an issue that exists exclusively in one party.
“We’ve seen plenty of groups here in Kentucky ready to condemn across the aisle. We need a lot more to say there’s also issues on my side of the aisle, for both parties to recognize there are issues within our parties, there are issues within our communities and we need to speak out on them,” said Rabbi Litvin.
Rabbi Litvin told WKYT that he has personally reached out to both the county and state republican parties and he is looking forward to meeting with several members to discuss what he calls a “dangerous trope.”
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