Jewish leaders reacted with outrage this week to New York Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou after the Congressional candidate who recently declared her support for the BDS movement posed in a Jewish couple’s home as if she was about to chomp down on a loaf of challah.
The incident has been nicknamed “Challah-Gate” by Niou’s detractors.
“It’s the height of chutzpah. It’s really insulting,” former Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield told the New York Post.
Niou, a state assemblywoman who currently represents Chinatown and the Lower East Side in the New York City, is a candidate for the city’s 10th Congressional District that includes Borough Park, with its large Orthodox population.
The photo of Niou looking like she was about to devour the challah was taken only days after she told the Jewish Insider that she was a supporter of the BDS movement, according to the Post.
Niou, who has been endorsed by the progressive Working Families Party, is a front runner in a crowded Democratic primary field of more than a dozen candidates, including former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The photo was taken when she was visiting the home of a Borough Park couple on Thursday. It was posted in a tweet that said: “Heated in the oven just a bit to make it fresh. Double butter is right!!!.”
Best challah I’ve had in a long time. I could even put into words how perfect the inside was. Perfect crust. Soft with just a little density…Dreams.”
The candidate removed the photo after a torrent of criticism from Jewish leaders amid accusations that Niou was taking advantage of the Jewish community for votes only days after endorsing BDS.
“I believe in the right to protest as a fundamental tenet of western democracy, so I do support BDS,” Niou said in an email statement to the Jewish Insider.
Borough Park Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein asked on Twitter: “Is eating challah the new whitewashing for supporting the antisemitic BDS movement?”
“This pander is offensive. It’s a photo-op. Photo-ops don’t whitewash extreme positions,” he said.