The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) announced on Tuesday that it is banning incoming Rep. George Santos (R-NY) for falsifying his resume and making misleading statements about having Jewish ancestry.
Santos found himself under intense scrutiny after reporters debunked a statement on his campaign website that said his mother was Jewish and that his grandparents, who were born in Brazil, according to the Forward, "fled Jewish persecution in Ukraine, settled in Belgium, and again fled persecution during WWII."
“We are very disappointed in Congressman-elect Santos. He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage. In public comments and to us personally, he previously claimed to be Jewish. He has begun his tenure in Congress on a very wrong note,” the RJC said. “He will not be welcome at any future RJC event."
Santos was a speaker at the RJC’s leadership conference in November. He also described himself as a “proud American Jew” in a campaign document, according to the Washington Examiner.
But Santos recently admitted that he had exaggerated parts of his resume and was not clear about his heritage.
“I never claimed to be Jewish,” he told the New York Post. “I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish.'”
On Monday, Santos reiterated he still identifies as “Jew-ish” despite reports showing that his grandparents were Catholics born in Brazil, not Jews who fled the Nazis in Europe as he previously claimed.
The Long Island Republican also questioned why “people are rushing to disinherit me from being Jewish” given his support for Jews and Israel at a time of rising antisemitism.
The comments came during Santos’ first media appearances since the New York Times published a story last week raising questions about virtually ever aspect of the Republican’s resume.
“Even though I’ve always I’ve always said I’m Catholic, I grew up Catholic, I’ve always loved and had a deep respect for my Jewish heritage and I will continue to,” Santos told a reporter from City & State, a publication covering New York politics. In similar comments to the New York Post, he said, “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”