Budding Democrat-socialist superstar Julia Salazar has repeatedly lied about being Jewish and an immigrant from Colombia, various reports allege.
The 27-year-old Salazar, who is campaigning for a State Senate seat in New York and is seen as the next Democrat “It Girl,” the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has repeatedly told voters two thing about her identity that are not true — that she is Jewish and that she is a Colombian immigrant.
“I am a Jew of color. I am a Colombian, American, but I am also Jewish… I immigrated to this country with my family when I was very little from Colombia,” Salazar said at one campaign event.
Believing her, New York Magazine described her as a “naturalized U.S. citizen.”
The Intercept ran a glowing piece about her, but were then forced to issue an embarrassing correction after Salazar misled the left-wing publication about her background:
An earlier version of this piece referred to Julia Salazar as a Colombian immigrant, based on claims she made to The Intercept and elsewhere. She refers to herself as a “proud immigrant” on her campaign website. The story has been updated to remove that reference, and to make clear that while Salazar said she emigrated from Colombia, she was in fact born in Miami.
Salazar has been telling voters, the media, and anyone who reads her campaign site that she is a proud immigrant — when the truth is that she was born in Miami.
After being challenged on this, Salazar kind of doubled down. While she stopped referring to herself as an “immigrant” on her campaign site, she replaced it with something else that is untrue, referring to herself as the “daughter of working-class immigrants” when her mother was born in the United States.
Although she apparently converted to Judaism two years ago, initially Salazar’s claim to be Jewish came from statements about her father being Jewish — which also is not true.
According to Salazar’s own family, who found it necessary to correct the record, “There was nobody in our immediate family who was Jewish … my father was not Jewish, we were not raised Jewish,” her brother told Tablet.
On top of that, her uncle was a Jesuit priest and her mother attends an evangelical church.
Salazar alluded to a Jewish upbringing in a September 2014 comment on Mondoweiss: “Like most American Jews, I was raised with the delusion that Israel was a safe haven for me, perhaps even the only safe place for Jews.” Whatever the source or nature of her Jewish identity, Salazar was presenting herself as a vocal left-winger of Jewish persuasion by early 2014. Her Jewish identity was used as an argument-ender on Twitter: “Is it anti-Semitic for a non-Jewish student to publicly impose opinion of whose voice is permitted in our Jewish communities?” Salazar sniped in the midst of a lengthy February 2014 Twitter exchange with the non-Jewish pro-Israel writer and activist Chloe Valdary (a Tablet contributor). “Please leave my Jewish community alone,” Salazar continued. “You don’t speak for us.”
Those tweets are now deleted.
Rather than compare Salazar to Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might be more accurate. Warren too lied about her identity. For decades she falsely claimed to be an American Indian as a means to further her own education, career, and political goals.