WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives voted to expel George Santos, the freshman New York Republican whose fabrications and allegations of fraud included false claims of Jewish heritage.
The 311-114 vote met the two-thirds threshold needed to expel a member of the chamber, making Santos only the sixth person in U.S. history to be expelled from the House.
The vote to expel included 105 Republicans — a minority of the party’s seats, but nonetheless an extraordinary number considering that Santos’ departure reduces the GOP majority in the 435-member body to a fragile four.
Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican who along with other Republican House leaders did not back expulsion, announced the results and said the membership of the House had immediately dropped to 434.
Following the vote, Santos threw on his coat and strode out of the chamber.
Santos’ multiple fabrications were first exposed by the New York Times in December of last year, shortly after his election and before he assumed office. Jewish publications including the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, following up on that article, uncovered evidence that he lied about being Jewish, about having Jewish ancestry and about being the descendant of Holocaust survivors.
The fabrications were so egregious that Long Island Republicans, who had campaigned for Santos, immediately called on him to resign, citing in particular his fabrications about his Jewish ancestry. The Republican Jewish Coalition, which just a month prior had platformed him as an exciting new brand of young Jewish Republican, denounced him.
A lengthy House Ethics Committee investigation only alluded to Santos’s lies about his Jewish background, and focused mostly on the evidence underpinning the criminal charges he faces.
There likely will be a special election to replace him. A number of politicians have lined up for the job, including some who are actually Jewish.
Three House members were expelled during the Civil War era for supporting the Confederacy. Two have since been expelled after being convicted of a crime. Santos has been charged with a string of felonies and has pleaded not guilty.
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Yeshiva Loses its Ninth Student in War in Gaza
Israelis on Monday woke up to bittersweet news: the good was the successful rescue of two hostages from the Gaza Strip. The bad, that three soldiers, Maj. Gen. Ziv Chen, Lt. Col. Nathaniel Elkoubi, and Maj. Yair Cohen were killed in separate fighting in the Strip.
Chen, 27, from Kfar Saba, was a graduate of a religious Zionist yeshiva in southern Israel which has now lost nine students in the war against Hamas in Gaza.
“We wanted to believe that we had finished paying the heavy price,” the head of the yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Wolfson, told Hebrew media.
The yeshiva, Yeruham Hesder, is a program for observant Israelis who wish to combine regular military service with Torah study. A longer program than regular enlistments – five years total – there are thousands of students every year participating.
“We have lost a mainstay of the Beit Midrash (study hall). Ziv, as his name is, was all light,” Rabbi Wolfson added. “A loving and beloved man, I will bless you, everything he did was with infinite love. He loved people, loved the Torah, and everything he was involved in was done wholeheartedly.”
Chen was set to celebrate his wedding anniversary this upcoming Sunday with his wife Hillel, his family said.
At the funeral, held on Tuesday in his hometown, accompanied by hundreds of Israelis paying their respects, his uncle, Danny Chen, said about the fallen soldier: “He was a salt of the earth, a brilliant yeshiva student who loved the Land of Israel. He was a walking encyclopedia, very knowledgeable. Saturday night, two weeks ago, I saw him for the last time, always hugging and kissing. An exemplary child, a great loss. We are all shocked and hurt.”
The organization overseeing the Hesder yeshivot, the Hesder Yeshiva Association, released a statement that said, “We bitterly mourn the death of the soldier Maj. Gen. Ziv Chen, a fighter in the Givati Brigade, student of the Hesder Yeshiva Yeruham, who fell in the war. On behalf of the leaders of the Hesder Yeshivas and all the rabbis and students, we embrace the family, the the rabbis of the yeshiva, its students and graduates, and pray for an overwhelming victory of our heroic soldiers over our vile and cruel enemies. May his soul be wrapped in the bundle of life.”
The three soldiers who perished on Monday were the victims of an IED explosion in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, where the IDF has been concentrating its fighting for the last few weeks.
As mentioned, Chen is the ninth soldier to fall during the war from the Yeroham Yeshiva. The other eight are: Sergeant Ariel Eliyahu, 19, Staff Sergeant Yanon Fleishman, 31, First Sergeant Eitan Dov Rosenzweig, 21, Captain Eitan Fish, 23, Sergeant Yakir Yedidia Shankolevsky, 21, Advanced Sergeant Gideon Ilani, 35, First Sergeant Elisha Levinstern, 38, and First Sergeant Ephraim Yachman, 21.
Australia Bans Doxxing Following Attacks on Jewish Professionals
Australia’s government announced on Tuesday a ban on doxxing — the act of leaking someone’s personal information online — responding to its use against Jewish professionals who support Israel.
The measure follows Pro-Palestinian activists distributing last year a document listing the names of nearly a 1,000 Jews who were members of a “group chat” in the popular online messaging application WhatsApp, prompting waves of hate mail.
“The increasing use of online platforms to harm people through practices like doxxing, the malicious release of their personal information without their permission, is a deeply disturbing development,” Australia attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said in statements quoted by Associated Press. “The recent targeting of members of the Australian Jewish community through those practices like doxxing was shocking, but, sadly, this is far from being an isolated incident.”
The prohibitive measure will mandate the levying of fines on doxxers and require social media companies to remove from their websites the information they illicitly procured and shared, Associated Press reported.
Daniel Aghion, president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry commended the government’s action and committed to “working with the government to ensure the full extent of the harm caused is understood and that the new laws effectively protect Australians from this shameful and dangerous practice,” AP added.
As The Algemeiner has previously reported, hundreds of attacks on Jews — digital, political, and physical — have taken place in Australia since Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7. Antisemitic activity there has risen over 400 percent, including explosions of hate such as Nov.’s attack on a Jewish man in a park in Sydney, as well as vandalism and threats of gun violence.
Last week, far-left politician Jenny Leong, spread conspiracies about the “tentacles” of a so-called “Jewish lobby and…Zionist lobby” influencing policy, an insidious expression of antisemitic demagoguery that was once limited to the fringes of the political spectrum but has now become mainstream in the pro-Palestinian movement.
“They [the Jewish and Zionist lobby] rock up to every community meeting and event to offer that connection because their tentacles reach into the areas that try and influence power and I think that we need to call that out and expose that,” Leong continued.
Australian leaders have called on the country to reject antisemitism, while in January, the Federal Parliament passed legislation banning Nazi paraphernalia and the pantomiming of Nazi salutes in public.
“This is the first legislation of its kind and will ensure no one in Australia will be allowed to glorify or profit from acts and symbols that celebrate the Nazis and their evil ideology,” Mark Dreyfus said in a statement explaining the law.
Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.
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Israel’s President Announces New ‘Civilian Heroism’ Medal For Heroes of October 7
The Office of the President of Israel announced the establishment a new civilian medal, “The President’s Medal for Civilian Heroism,” to be awarded to civilians who showed outstanding heroism on October 7.
“The brutal terrorist attack that happened on October 7, 2023, Simchat Torah, was one of the most dramatic and shocking events in the history of the State of Israel, with unprecedented effects on both the front and the rear. It claimed the lives of over 1,200 Israeli men and women, including hundreds of women and men of the security forces, as well as thousands of wounded and over 200 kidnapped men and women who were held, and most of them are still held, by the murderers of the Hamas terrorist organization,” read the statement by the President’s Office.
The announcement continued, “Along with the unbearably heavy price that the attack exacted, from the very first moments unimaginable and extraordinary acts of heroism were discovered, including those of ordinary citizens, who acted in real time while actually risking their lives, out of a sense of unity of fate and mutual Israeli guarantee, with the aim of saving lives.”
According the release, the awards will be given by the president in an official state ceremony “to citizens who acted with extraordinary bravery with mutual guarantee and ferocity in order to save human life, and who are not members of the various security forces.” The award will be given even to those who perished and its recipients will be determined by an independent committee of former judges, universities, military leaders, and civic leaders.
Nominations will be made by individuals through a form on the President’s website.
The post Israel’s President Announces New ‘Civilian Heroism’ Medal For Heroes of October 7 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.