Update: Late Tuesday, Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.) announced she is canceling her appearance at the CAIR event, but defended the controversial group as a “Muslim civil liberties organization.”

Original DVJ article below:

GOP U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick is denouncing U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.) over her upcoming appearance at a Philadelphia fundraiser for an organization with a history of antisemitism. And he’s demanding his opponent, Sen. Bob Casey, do the same.

“I’m calling for the resignation of Summer Lee,” McCormick said in a social media post Monday. “Summer Lee is the headline speaker for CAIR, an organization whose leadership has spewed antisemitic hatred, an organization where the leadership has celebrated the terrible barbarism, the hatred from Oct. 7.”

McCormick added, “I’m also calling on Bob Casey to disavow his endorsement of Summer Lee. Bob has endorsed Summer Lee, and he’s not called back on that, despite the terrible things that keep coming out of her mouth.”

Lee is scheduled to give “special remarks” at the Council on American-Islamic Relations annual banquet on March 2, according to the CAIR-Philadelphia website. In December, the White House issued a statement condemning CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad for comments celebrating the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack on Israel.

“The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege, the walls of the concentration camp, on Oct. 7. And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land and walk free into their land, which they were not allowed to walk in,” Awad said in a speech soon after the attack.

The White House, which had named CAIR as an organization it worked with to combat Islamophobia, reversed course.

“We condemn these shocking, antisemitic statements in the strongest terms,” said Biden spokesman Andrew Bates. “The horrific, brutal terrorist attacks committed by Hamas on Oct. 7 were, as President Joe Biden said, ‘abhorrent’ and represent ‘unadulterated evil.’”

Even the left-leaning Anti-Defamation League has called out the organization for its antisemitic rhetoric, and CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal terrorism case due to its connections with Hamas.

Casey, who’s seeking a fourth term as U.S. senator in November, has condemned CAIR but not his fellow Democrat Lee.

“Oct. 7 was a brutal and vicious attack on innocent Israeli civilians,” Casey said in a statement to the news site Jewish Insider. “I unequivocally condemn the antisemitic and hateful comments made by CAIR’s leadership and any comments that celebrate the despicable acts of Hamas terrorists.”

However, Casey has declined to criticize Lee, and he continues to support her reelection.

Casey did not respond to a request for comment Monday from DVJournal.

That’s not good enough for McCormick, whose campaign released a statement Monday: “Casey, who has endorsed Lee, previously praised CAIR for its commitment to fighting’ discrimination and prejudice’ in society, a commitment that evidently does not extend to fighting for the Jewish community.”

“The people of Pennsylvania deserve more from Bob Casey. He needs to demonstrate leadership, not weakness. He needs to demonstrate moral clarity,” added McCormick.

And it’s not just McCormick. Also on Monday, the co-chairs of the Pennsylvania Jewish Legislative Caucus — state Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) and state Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) issued a statement condemning Lee’s decision to participate in the CAIR event.

“Too many of our neighbors are already afraid to wear their kippahs in public and are wondering if they must conceal their Jewish faith to be safe and free from harassment. They count on their representatives to lead by example and stand against all forms of hate,” they wrote. “We have grave concerns about an elected official joining individuals who have made openly antisemitic comments and praised the actions of Hamas following the attacks of October 7. We urge Rep. Lee to reconsider her participation in this event.”

Concerns about Lee’s actions regarding Israel and antisemitism aren’t new. A group of Jewish leaders in Western Pennsylvania released a letter last year rebuking Lee for her behavior in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack.

Just weeks after the massacre, Lee was one of only 10 members of Congress who voted against a resolution declaring the House “stands with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.”

Nonetheless, Lee continues to enjoy the support of her fellow progressives, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), as well as local state Reps. Tina Davis (D-Levittown ) and Danielle Friel-Otten (D-Uwchlan).

Bhavini Patel, who is challenging Lee in the Democratic primary, posted a social media statement condemning Lee’s appearance at the CAIR event.

“Summer Lee needs to cancel this appearance and apologize for agreeing to share a stage with them in the first place. This is appalling,” Patel wrote.

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