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NC Democrats reverse course and vote to recognize Jewish Caucus

The North Carolina Democratic Party voted Sunday to recognize the Jewish Caucus as a member organization.
The North Carolina Democratic Party voted Sunday to recognize the Jewish Caucus as a member organization.

The North Carolina Democratic Party voted Sunday to formally recognize the Jewish Caucus as an official organization, although it still had opposition. While 31 Democrats voted yes, eight members of the party's executive committee did not. Four people voted no and another four abstained.

The decision came amid tensions over the war between Israel and Hamas and less than a month after the party rejected the caucus in a narrow vote on Nov. 12. At that time, 17 members voted no, 16 voted yes and 16 people abstained.

One of the people who abstained in the Nov. 12 vote was party chair Anderson Clayton. She voted yes on Sunday.

That initial rejection angered some Jewish Democrats, and it gained national attention after the leader of state party's progressive caucus leader told WFAE he was against the caucus because, in his words, the Jewish leaders were whiners and would “control everything.”

Some Democratic members of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation said the party should reconsider. Attorney General Josh Stein, who is running for governor, also said the party should approve the caucus.

The party then called a special meeting and reversed itself on Sunday.

Jewish Caucus leader Jeffrey Bierer said in a statement that the final approval occurs “during a time that has become very fraught for the Jewish people around the world. Antisemitic incidents have been increasing at an alarming rate in the United States, and all the more so since the events of October 7.”

He said the final vote shows the state party’s pledge to stand against antisemitism “demonstrates that these were not just words.”

In North Carolina, the backdrop to the party’s initial rejection of the caucus was not only the war between Israel and Hamas, but a complaint made by Democrat Nazim Uddin of Charlotte. He told Democratic Party leaders that former Jewish Democratic Caucus leader Matt Sadinsky had used incendiary language in a conversation with someone else about Uddin several months ago.

Uddin said Sadinksky had called him a Nazi and an Iranian spy.

He provided the state party with a recording of the conversation. Sadinsky resigned from the caucus before the Nov. 12 vote.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.
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