State Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, issued a second response Friday to his Democratic colleagues who accused him of using language that “foments hate and violence.”
Latz, who is Jewish, faced criticism this week when he spoke out against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement during a press conference at the Capitol, where he said “Palestinian youth dream of the opportunity to achieve glory and even martyrdom by killing as many Jews as possible.”
In his Friday statement, Latz said his colleagues are taking this one sentence out of context.
“It is very surprising and disappointing that my Senate DFL colleagues — some of whom have worked with me for years and know well who I am — have chosen to misrepresent and publicly attack my speech by taking one sentence out of context on the topic of BDS’ proposal to divest state funds from Israel. What is even worse is their choice to assign awful intent to the misrepresented information,” he said.
On Thursday, 13 Democratic state senators, including swing-district senator Judy Seeberger, signed a letter in which they accused Sen. Latz of making a series of “hateful, prejudicial and demonstrably false claims” the day prior. Among them, the Democratic senators claimed Sen. Latz “assigned nefarious motives to Palestinian children, describing them all as aspiring murderers.”
However, Sen. Latz said in his statement Friday that “the one sentence that they are criticizing with such vigor and accusation does not stand alone. It is preceded by information that makes it clear that I am not referring to ‘all’ Palestinian youth.”
Additionally, Sen. Latz claimed “there is ample evidence available to support every statement that I made. I am including some of the links below about the organized indoctrination of hate in Gaza and the West Bank.”
To view those links, see Sen. Latz’s full statement.
“I want to make it crystal clear that I will stand alone if necessary, but I will stand against Hamas terrorism including Hamas indoctrination of Gazan youth,” Latz said. “I will never support nor justify terroristic acts or terrorist groups. This sentiment is noticeably absent in my colleagues’ statement about my remarks yesterday. Hamas’ conduct is inflammatory. My colleagues’ silence enables similar sentiment here.”