(JTA) — The chairman of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party resigned after saying that pro-Israel Christians want to see Jews “slaughtered and converted.”
Mark Alan Siegel resigned on Friday, a day after he apologized for the remarks he had made two days earlier during an interview on the sidelines of the Democratic National Convention.
“My comments merely served as a distraction to the good work of Democrats in Palm Beach,” Siegel said in a statement released Friday by the state party, according to the Palm Beach Post. “Again, I express my deepest apologies to anyone I may have offended.”
Siegel, an attorney, had apologized the day after making the comments but reportedly refused to resign, instead offering to take an extended leave of absence.
Siegel had told the conservative Patriot Update website that as a Jew, he was “not a fan of any religion other than Judaism.” Asked if he is a fan of Christianity, Siegel responded, according to the Palm Beach Post, “No, I’m not. The Christians just want us to be there so we can be slaughtered and converted and bring on the second coming of Jesus Christ.”
He continued, “They’re not our friends. They want Israel to pursue policies which are antithetical with its security and existence. The worst possible allies for the Jewish state are the fundamentalist Christians, who want Jews to die and convert so they can bring on the second coming of their Lord. It is a false friendship. They are seeking their own ends and not ours.”
Siegel moved to Boca Raton in the 1990s after serving in the New York state Assembly from 1975 to 1990 as a representative of a Manhattan district.