Boston city councilor apologizes after facing backlash for ‘anti-Semitic’ tweet

A Boston city councilor has apologized after facing backlash for a Thursday tweet which many called anti-Semitic.

In response to a court ruling involving a pro-Israel pledge, first-term Councilor Kendra Lara tweeted – and seven hours later deleted – a tweet that read “y’all are letting the Zionists SHAKE YOU DOWN. phew!”

Her tweet was immediately criticized by the local Jewish community, including the Anti-Defamation League’s Robert Trestan.

“It (Lara’s Tweet) comes at a time when the Jewish community in Boston is feeling vulnerable and under attack,” Trestan told the Boston Herald. “It’s pretty shocking to have a Boston city councilor disseminating an anti-Semitic trope. The insinuation that there’s some sort of nefarious Jewish influence in a Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision is anti-Semitic.”

Lara later deleted her tweet and apologized. “It was made clear to me, that the use of the phrase ‘shake them down’ reinforces Anti-Semitic tropes about Jewish people,” Lara tweeted. “Although that was not my intention, the impact — especially in a moment when we’re seeing alarming rates of violence against Jewish people — is the same and I should’ve known better.”

Her tweet came in response to the 8th Circuit federal appeals court decision upholding a requirement that state contractors pledge not to boycott Israel, according to The Associated Press. State contractors that choose not to sign the pledge must cut their fees by 20%. The appeals court ruled that the state requirement did not violate the First Amendment.

“I maintain my disappointment with the eighth circuit courts ruling and believe that conflating anti-Zionism with antisemitism will ultimately prevent us from being in true solidarity with both Jewish people and Palestinians,” Lara tweeted.



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