As the great Jimmy Durante said, “Everybody wants ta get inta da act!” Brooklyn’s Democratic-Socialist candidate for New York’s18th Senatorial District Julia Salazar claims to be Jewish, but that claim doesn’t seem to be Kosher.
In mid-July Ms. Salazar told The Forward, she:
“came from a unique Jewish background. She was born in Colombia, and her father was Jewish, descended from the community expelled from medieval Spain. When her family immigrated to the United States, they had little contact with the American Jewish community, struggling to establish themselves financially.”
In college, Salazar claimed to have become an advocate for criticizing Israel, opening up a J-Street chapter at Columbia University and writing for the anti-Israel website Mondoweiss. She explained to The Forward, that her Jewish identity, “propelled her into politics.
But an article in The Tablet last week exposed her real background. It explained that Salazar was actually born in Miami, neither of her parents were Jewish, was a practicing Catholic until six years ago, and used to be a pro-Israel conservative.
After seeing The Tablet piece, she admitted on her website that she was born in Miami,
“As I stated clearly in a transcribed interview with reporter Emma Whitford on May 5th, at the outset of my campaign, I made it crystal clear that I had been born in Miami. I also confirmed this fact to the JTA earlier this week, when I realized that there was ambiguity about where I’d been born.”
She may have told the truth about her birth in May but doesn’t remove the fact that two months later she told The Forward she was an immigrant from Columbia.
In the same campaign website post, Julia Salazar doubled-down on claiming to be Jewish
“Some have attempted to question whether I am Jewish. I have never demanded or expected that everyone recognize and accept my Jewish identity. My religious and spiritual life have never been a focus of my campaign for State Senate. I can only point out that the article that provoked this is clearly politically motivated, seeking to discredit my conversion and my Jewishness in a misguided attempt to attack my credibility as a progressive candidate.”
Per The Tablet, the evidence shows she had a Christian upbringing; her father was a practicing Catholic until the day he died, and her mom is an Italian-American and a practicing Christian.
“A 2009 funeral notice for her father, a former commercial airline pilot named Luis Hernan Salazar, indicates that the service was held at the Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Ormond Beach, Florida.
When Julia Salazar was 21 (she’s now 27):
“Salazar had both the politics and religious beliefs of a conservative Christian. In a series of tweets preserved by pro-Israel activist Hen Mazzig, Salazar quotes a pastor at Apostles Church in New York in a tweet that includes the hashtag #John13, referring to a chapter in the New Testament. “A thought I plan to ruminate on this week:” she tweeted in September of 2012, “Follow #Christ for his own sake if you plan to follow Him at all,” quoting the 19th-century Anglican Bishop J.C. Ryle. One acquaintance who knew Salazar during her time as Christians United for Israel activist said that she wasn’t shy about her religious faith, dropping the occasional “praise Jesus” into casual conversation.”
The Tablet called, Alex Salazar, the candidate’s older brother and the operator of a number of Florida mango farms [who according to the reporter didn’t seem to know much about his sister’s campaign]. Alex Salazar said, “one of their father’s brothers was a Jesuit priest” There was nobody in our immediate family who was Jewish … my father was not Jewish, we were not raised Jewish,” he said.”
“Their mother, Christine Salazar, indicated in a public September 2012 Facebook post that she planned on attending services at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, a nondenominational evangelical church in downtown Brooklyn.”
“Although the candidate goes by Julia Carmel Salazar—and sometimes just Julia Carmel—in her professional life, her given middle name is Julia Christine Salazar, a discrepancy that makes it trickier to track down public records of the would-be state senator. A Julia Christine Salazar who shares Julia Salazar’s birthday and who had a mailing address in Columbia University’s Lerner Hall showed up in Florida voter registration records in May of 2017 as a Republican. This past July, the New York Daily News reported that Salazar had only registered as a Democrat “a year ago.”
Based on his funeral and her brother Alex’s testimony, the Brooklyn Socialist’s claim that her Father was a Jew seems to be a lie. In the end, it doesn’t matter because, in the Jewish faith, Jewishness is passed down through the mother, Therefore since her mother isn’t Jewish, the only way Salazar could be Jewish is if she went through the conversion process.
So where does that leave us. Based on the evidence it seems that Julia Christine Salazar, has been at best inconstant about her immigrant background, and was a Republican until just before she decided to run for office as a socialist. If she wants to be considered a Jew by the Jewish community, Salazar must prove she was converted at least by identifying the Rabbi who led her through the process.
Until she reveals more about her conversion, or if it turns out that Salazar was never converted I have a way to work things out. If Julia Christine Salazar wants to continue claiming to be Jewish, let her, or at least we Jews shouldn’t dispute it. But there has to be a quid pro quo. You see, according to the Talmud before it approves the conversion, the Beit Din (rabbinical court) should ask, “What reason have you for desiring to become a proselyte; do you not know that Jews at the present time are persecuted and oppressed, despised, harassed and overcome by afflictions?”
That’s perfect. Let’s take the Talmud one step further. If Salazar wants to claim she is Jewish without converting we should give her our blessing. But before we do, she must hold a little press conference and accept the personal blame for everything—every anti-Semitic slander
Julia Salazar should announce that it is she, not all of the Jews, who has control over the media. It’s a believable concept. Let’s face it; anybody who read that bull-story in The Forward will be able to accept that the only way her fake bio could have gotten past the get past the editors is if she controlled the media.
Salazar has a giant tattoo of a flower on her left shoulder. Judaism forbids tattoos. But perhaps we Jews should tell her all is well, just as long as she can call the members of the Congressional Black Caucus and convince them to renounce Louis Farrakhan. And why not add in the demand that she tells people that her campaign is funded by all those non-Jews who are the ones that control the banks.
Perhaps we can forgive her anti-Israel activism if Julia Salazar can get the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to convince Mel Gibson it wasn’t the Jews, but 2,000 years ago it was the Palestinians who killed Jesus. Of course, Abbas might refuse, pointing out the historical fact that 2,000 years ago there were no Palestinians
Come to think of it that wouldn’t be a bad thing, either.