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Congresswoman who said Hitler ‘right on one thing’ meets rabbis who defended her

Right-wing Coalition for Jewish Values says Republican Mary Miller was justified in citing Nazi Germany leader, as lessons can be learned from enemies; she later apologized

Illinois Republican Rep. Mary Miller. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/JTA)
Illinois Republican Rep. Mary Miller. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/JTA)

JTA — A freshman congresswoman who said “Hitler was right on one thing” during a speech just before the Capitol insurrection met Monday with a right-wing rabbinical group that defended her against calls to resign.

The Coalition for Jewish Values said Monday that Rep. Mary Miller, an Illinois Republican, had met with its rabbinic board and others last week. It quoted Rabbi Moshe Parnes, an Orthodox rabbi from Florida who is the group’s southern regional vice president, as “acknowledg[ing] that it is common in Jewish thought to learn lessons from our enemies.”

Speaking to a pro-Trump crowd on January 6, Miller said, “Hitler was right on one thing: He said, whoever has the youth has the future.” The crowd she addressed included some of the rioters who later carried out a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol.

Facing criticism from Democrats, some Republicans, and Jewish groups — including some calls to resign — Miller later apologized for “using a reference to one of the most evil dictators in history.” But the Coalition for Jewish Values, founded in 2017, defended her almost immediately, issuing a press release two days after the speech expressing its support for her but saying that there would be better ways to express concerns about “the indoctrination of our youth.”

The Coalition for Jewish Values’ latest release quoted Miller as elaborating on that apology.

“While I do regret the words I used to illustrate my message about instilling values in our children, I believe God is using this experience for good,” she said, according to the group’s press release. “The great discussion from our meeting only proves this. Connecting and learning from the Jewish community becomes more important every day with anti-Semitism on the rise.”

The group said it had probed Miller in the meeting on her views on Israel and the movement to boycott Israel. Miller had noted in her earlier apology that she is “passionately pro-Israel.”

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