Where is Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick?
As the nation’s temperature continues to rise due to significant upticks in antisemitic hate speech – specifically within the GOP – the Republican Congressman has failed to communicate with his constituents.
A recent National Terrorism Advisory warned of a heightened threat environment for faith-based institutions and religious minorities following Donald Trump’s announcement of a 2024 GOP presidential run and his Mar-A-Lago dinner with antisemite Ye and neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes.
More than just an elected representative, Fitzpatrick is also a co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat Antisemitism.
“Brian Fitzpatrick has displayed a pattern of using his caucus and task force memberships as positive press release fodder, but taking little action to support the focus issue,” said Kierstyn Zolfo of Indivisible Bucks County.
The mission of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat Antisemitism is to collaborate with the administration, world leaders and not-for-profit groups to combat antisemitic hate speech, raise awareness of the Holocaust and develop cutting-edge strategies to combat bigotry.
“In this time of rising antisemitism, our community cannot afford Representative Fitzpatrick’s politically calculated silence,” Zolfo added.
The Beacon reached out to Fitzpatrick’s Washington, D.C. office on Friday seeking comment about heightened antisemitic activity and was advised that a statement had been provided to the Washington Post.
Here’s what the Post reported:
“Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., was equally critical of the ‘lack of judgment’ but went further in stressing that it ‘warrants an unequivocal apology.‘
‘Fuentes is an evil human that should not be given a seat at any table, let alone at the table of a former American president,’ he said.“
“That’s not a strong statement, in my opinion,” said Jill Zipin, founder and chair of Democratic Jewish Outreach PA (DJOP). “As co-chair of the Antisemitism Task Force, his silence has been deafening.”
Zipin also recalled Fitzpatrick’s failure to call out GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who surrounded himself with racist antisemites and used the Oath Keepers as private security.
“Fitzpatrick’s failure to call out Mastriano, his failure to call out Donald Trump by name, makes him complicit even if he condemns antisemitism in all its forms,” the DJOP chair said.
2021 was the highest year on record for documented reports of harassment, vandalism and violence directed against Jews, according to the Anti-Defamation League, who has tracked these incidents since 1979. ADL believes 2022 will look a lot like last year, NPR reported in a December 1 article.
If it’s true that those who don’t learn from the past are destined to repeat it, Millennials and Gen Z may be in for a rude awakening.
A recent study about the Holocaust, conducted by the Claims Conference, revealed that a significant number of Americans born after 1981 were incapable of naming a single concentration camp or ghetto, believed that fewer than two million Jews were murdered during the Nazi occupation and had the distorted belief that Jews caused the Holocaust.
The same study also showed that a majority of Americans who participated in the study believe something similar to the Holocaust could happen again.
“The Antisemitism Task Force should have leadership committed to its goal and willing to speak out, and we are not seeing that from Brian Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District,” Zolfo concluded.
Zipin wonders if Fitzpatrick, given all that has happened, would support the top of the ticket were Trump to be the 2024 GOP nominee.
“You have a Republican sitting congressperson who has not called out that individual by name and has not said I will not support or endorse Donald Trump,” she said.
Republican Brian Fitzpatrick has represented Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District since 2017. He has never held an in-person town hall.