Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, fired back at Rep. Eric Swalwell after the California representative tweeted shortly after an attack at a rabbi’s house that the ex-mayor was helping stoke the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S.
Swalwell, has been an outspoken critic of Trump, and took to Twitter on Sunday shortly after a knife-wielding man stormed into a rabbi’s home and stabbed five people as they celebrated Hanukkah in an Orthodox Jewish community north of New York City.
Swalwell tweeted an op-ed he penned earlier this month for The Forward where he warned of the rise of anti-Semitism. He wrote that Giuliani, among others, “have relentlessly attacked Jewish philanthropists including Michael Bloomberg and George Soros.”
Giuliani has been criticized recently over remarks he made about being “more Jewish” than Soros, the billionaire investor.
Soros, who reportedly survived the Holocaust, has donated heavily to liberal causes and is vilified on the right. He is also the subject of many unfounded conspiracy theories. Some have falsely accused him of being a Nazi collaborator during World War II, when he was a child in Hungary.
Giuliani told journalist Olivia Nuzzi, “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue. He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel. He’s elected eight anarchist DA’s in the United States. He’s a horrible human being.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told The Hill that Giuliani’s comments were “baffling and offensive.”
Giuliani defended himself and was swift to respond to Swalwell’s criticism. He pointed out his 35 years of taking up causes to defend against anti-Semitism. He pointed to his prosecution of two Nazi war criminals and his condemnation anti-Semitism “early & often.”
“Meanwhile, Swalwell, doesn’t have the guts to condemn the anti-Semites in his own party—a fraud & COWARD.”
In July, the House voted on a resolution to condemn the boycott campaign against Israel and overwhelmingly passed 398-17. Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., were among the 16 Democrats who voted against the resolution. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., was the only Republican to vote “no.” Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., was one of five lawmakers who voted “present.”
Giuliani did not name any member by name, but Omar has been outspoken against Israel, once tweeting that lawmakers were supportive of the Jewish state because they were essentially being paid to do so. It was widely considered a slur that relied on a trope against Jewish people, and she later “unequivocally” apologized.
Omar, who was among a handful of Democrats who voted against the bill Tuesday, said she supports the long-held U.S. goal of a “two-state solution,” one for Israel and one for Palestine. But she said at the time that “truly achieving peace” means “ending this occupation” of Israeli settlements.
The Associated Press contributed to this report