Former New York Mayor Ed Koch and other prominent Jews labeled Congressional candidate Charles Barron an “enemy of the State of Israel.”
"We have learned to live together in this city despite our different backgrounds, and his vile, vicious assailing of Israel is simply not acceptable," Koch said in a statement.
Congressman Jerry Nadler and a New York City councilman joined Koch to denounce Barron, whose positions have been explicitly anti-Israel. He has compared Israel with the Nazi regime and has called it a “terrorist state.” Barron angrily called the statements at a news conference a “cheap attack” and added, "I'm not going to let them distract me."
Barron, a councilman, is running against Hakeem Jeffries in the June 26 Democratic primary for the eighth seat being vacated by Rep. Ed Towns. The district includes parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Barron, who often is seen in Nehru-style clothing, has said that blacks are the true Semites and that Israel should not be a country.
Referring to the Crown Heights riots in 1991, he once stated, "Even when leaders moved in to quell the violence, they never dealt with the perception that Jews get preferential treatment in Crown Heights. They only make up 20 percent of the population, but they've always walked these streets as if they owned them, and acted as if they were the only ones that mattered."
He also has commented, "There is a way of thinking that says black life is not as good as Jewish life. That way of thinking has real consequences. It puts a chip on the shoulders of those made to feel inferior and gives a false sense of entitlement to those placed on high. The fact that they [Jews] have their own ambulance service and volunteer police detail in the heart of the community speaks to that.”
In July 2009, Barron was a participant in the Viva Palestina convoy to Hamas-controlled Gaza organized by George Galloway of Britain.
Barron is a former Black Panther member and once ran for mayor of New York City.