WASHINGTON (JTA) — Valerie Plame, the outed CIA agent at the center of a George W. Bush administration scandal, said she is now the member of a synagogue in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The revelation comes as Plame is running for Congress as a Democrat, and two years after her tweet of an anti-Semitic article led to her apology and professional repercussions.
Plame told Tal Schneider, a political reporter for Globes, an Israeli business daily, that her interest in Judaism stemmed from her discovery that her great-grandfather was a rabbi who fled Ukraine at the turn of the last century.
“I’ve always been drawn to that aspect of my Jewish heritage,” Plame said in tweets with videos that Schneider posted on Friday, “so it led me to Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe.”
Plame said she was especially attracted to the temple’s social justice initiatives, and that she is a member. Schneider confirmed with members of the local Jewish community that Plame had attended some services.
מסתבר שהיא לקחה את הקשר היהודי צעד קדימה והצטרפה כחברה מן המניין בבית הכנסת המקומי בית-שלום (רפורמי, סנטה פה). מארחיי המקומיים אישרו לי בהמשך אותו סופש, שהיא אכן מגיעה מפעם לפעם. pic.twitter.com/bI3dkADQZR
— Tal Schneider טל שניידר تال شنايدر (@talschneider) December 27, 2019
Plame had mentioned her Jewish background when she launched her congressional bid in September but did not say she identified in any way as Jewish.
Figures in the Bush administration outed Plame after her then-husband, retired diplomat Joseph Wilson, revealed in the lead-up to the Iraq War that on a Bush administration mission he had debunked one of the major pieces of evidence that Saddam Hussein was seeking weapons of mass destruction.
In 2017, Plame apologized for retweeting an article on a white supremacist website that claimed Jews were behind a push for war between Iran and the United States. She apologized again in her interview with Schneider.
The tweet led Plame to resign from the board of Ploughshares Fund, an influential anti-war foundation.