The New Republic
The New Republic The New Republic The New Republic
You know who won’t be lighting the third candle on the menorah tonight? Scandal-ridden Representative-elect George Santos, because it appears he’s not Jewish—despite repeated claims to the contrary.
A bombshell New York Times report charged Monday that the New York Republican had fabricated the bulk of his résumé. Now, it seems he has also made up details about his Jewish heritage.
On his campaign website, Santos states that his grandparents were Jews who fled persecution twice, first in Ukraine, and then again in Belgium as the Nazis rose to power. They settled in Brazil, where his mother Fatima (a common name among Portuguese-speaking Catholic populations) Devolder was born.
But the Jewish news outlet the Forward has now accused Santos of lying about that. The Forward said that Santos’s maternal grandparents were born in Brazil, well before the Nazis came about overseas, citing genealogy websites, a 1958 local newspaper article, and church records from 1928. (Santos has said that his father was Catholic, and his mother was Jewish.)
Neither of his maternal grandparents have Brazilian immigration cards from the 1930s or 1940s, and their names do not appear in databases of European Jewish refugees.
The Forward also spoke to a man who says he is a distant Dutch cousin of Santos. The cousin had set up a family tree on one of the genealogy websites and said their family has neither Jewish nor Ukrainian roots.
Santos’s mother, who died in 2016, made no reference to Judaism on her Facebook page but regularly shared Catholic-themed posts and images of Jesus.
The Republican Jewish Coalition said it had reached out to Santos about the allegations and demanded a public explanation.
House Republicans have remained silent on the accusations Santos lied about his background, likely because they will need every vote they can get when they take control of the chamber by just a few seats.
Democrats have condemned him but stopped short of demanding he resign. It is not yet known if the House Ethics Committee or the Office of Congressional Ethics will investigate him. Fellow New York Representative-elect Daniel Goldman called Wednesday for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and the FBI to investigate Santos.
The only thing Santos definitely hasn’t made up seems to be his declaration of victory after the midterms. As details about his background continue to emerge, his win is growing even more humiliating for the New York Democratic Party, which suffered major losses in November and apparently failed to do a basic background check on him.
George Santos, not a Jew. pic.twitter.com/EkplnOHFfQ
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) December 21, 2022 Republicans have begun to turn on Senator Mitch McConnell over his support for Ukraine.
The Senate minority leader on Tuesday reiterated his support for Kyiv as it fends off Russia’s invasion. He also urged Congress to pass the $1.7-trillion omnibus spending bill, which includes $45 billion in new emergency funds for Ukraine.
“Providing assistance for the Ukrainians to defeat the Russians, that’s the number one priority for the United States right now, according to most Republicans,” McConnell told reporters. “That’s sort of how we see the challenges confronting the country at the moment.”
Republicans went off on McConnell’s words.
Mitch McConnell actually said yesterday that most Republicans #1 priority is … Ukraine.
I have yet to meet a single Republican that thinks that, but I guess the disconnect between actual republicans and DC swamp rats shouldn’t surprise anyone.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 21, 2022 Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene accused McConnell of forgetting about constituents struggling under inflation, while Representative Chip Roy argued that the additional funds to Ukraine were too much and shared a Breitbart article criticizing McConnell.
Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe suggested sending McConnell to Ukraine, and former Newsmax and OANN correspondent Emerald Robinson said the senator was being deferential to “the Swamp.” Conservative news outlet The Federalist ran an article headlined, “GOP Can’t Be Successful Until Mitch McConnell Is Gone.”
Representative Kevin McCarthy, who is seeking to be the next House speaker, has already indicated Republicans will sharply cut back on Ukraine aid once they take control of the chamber.
There are many reasons to dislike McConnell, such his continued enabling of former President Donald Trump, his refusal to take a firm stance on the January 6 insurrection, or his opposition to basic human rights.
But his continued support for Ukraine—a sovereign nation trying to fend off an unprovoked attack on its democracy and independence—should not make that list.
The United States will send $1.8 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including a Patriot missile system, the White House confirmed.
President Joe Biden is expected to formally announce the package on Wednesday in a joint press conference with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
The Patriot system includes a missile battery and precision-guided bombs for Ukraine’s fighter jets. Here are three things you should know about why the Patriot missiles are important.
1. What is the Patriot missile system?
The Patriot is a surface-to-air guided missile system capable of targeting aircraft, shorter-range ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. The entire Patriot system includes radar, a control station, computers, and generators. It requires about 90 soldiers to operate and maintain, although only three are actually needed to fire it. The Patriot battery is a launching system that can be mounted on a truck and includes up to eight launchers, each of which can hold four missiles.
It’s not clear when the Patriot will arrive on the front lines, because U.S. soldiers will have to train Ukrainian forces on how to use the missile system. The training is expected to take place in Germany and could take several weeks, according to the AP.
2. This marks a major escalation in U.S. aid to Ukraine.
Ukraine has repeatedly asked its Western allies to send more advanced weaponry to help it fend off Russian attacks. The Patriot is the most advanced surface-to-air missile system that the West has sent Ukraine to date.
Russia has already warned that sending the Patriot to Ukraine would be considered a provocation, opening up the missile system and any crew accompanying it as fair targets for Russian troops.
But the Biden administration is clear it does not want to escalate conflict with Russia. A senior administration official, speaking anonymously, told reporters Tuesday night that Biden wants to “lean forward and be robust in our support for Ukraine…but we are not seeking to engage in a direct war with Russia.”
3. Will this turn the tide of the war?
Unfortunately, the Patriot is unlikely to deliver a decisive victory to Ukraine. Despite its high-tech status and military benefits, it does have its shortcomings.
A former senior military official, speaking anonymously, told the AP that the Patriot system is highly symbolic and will be useful against short-range ballistic missiles, but it won’t immediately turn things around.
The Patriot system has a long firing range but limited scope. Usually, Patriots are deployed in a group, but Ukraine is only receiving one. That means the Patriot will be able to protect a military base or part of a city, but it won’t be able to defend an entire city such as Kyiv, » …