Vulnerable House Dem backpedals after refusing to condemn phrase seen as calling for 'extermination' of Jews

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FIRST ON FOX: A House Democrat facing what is expected to beryllium a reliable re-election conflict refused to condemn a arguable phrase defined arsenic codification for nan "extermination" of Israel during a conflict connected societal media pinch her Republican opponent.

Last week, Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., who has antecedently surgery pinch galore successful her statement to denounce antisemitism, sewage into a fierce back-and-forth pinch Republican House hopeful George Logan, who questioned wherever she stood connected nan building "from nan stream to nan sea," a communal building being chanted by anti-Israel protesters amid nan mostly Jewish nation's war against Hamas terrorists.

Logan first referenced nan building by noting President Biden's acquisition secretary, Miguel Cardona, had declined to opportunity whether nan chant was antisemitic while speaking pinch reporters astatine a briefing earlier this month.

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"Theres thing unclear astir ‘from nan River to nan Sea.’ This is an antisemitic chant promoting nan demolition of Israel. As a personnel of [the House Committee connected Education & nan Workforce], wherever does [Hayes] stand?" Logan wrote connected X.

"STOP George," Hayes responded. "You person nary civilized precocious ground. You’ve been wholly silent astir Trump and your MAGA cronies hateful antisemitic tropes. I’m not playing this crippled pinch you - group are dying. Stop utilizing this taxable arsenic a governmental game. Count maine out!"

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Republican strategist Liz Kurantowicz responded to Hayes, blasting her for not answering nan mobility and declaring that calls for nan demolition of Israel were "not a game."

"Same point to you Liz- conscionable stop! Trump called group vermin and is modeling dictators and you’ve been SILENT! And yes, I met pinch Muslim constituents & Jewish constituents who person been devastated by nan events successful Oct 7th. If George lived successful nan 5th- I’d meet pinch him too," Hayes wrote back, throwing a jab astatine Logan by accusing him of not domiciled successful Connecticut's 5th Congressional District.

Hayes told Fox News Digital, "I person ne'er utilized that phrase. The truth that it invokes truthful overmuch symptom is capable for me. My voting grounds denouncing antisemitism is clear. I condemn antisemitism successful immoderate form. I will not prosecute pinch Logan aliases immoderate of nan [Connecticut] GOP successful utilizing Israel aliases this situation arsenic a governmental game."

Nathan Sales, a erstwhile counterterrorism official, told Fox News past twelvemonth that erstwhile pro-Palestinian protesters chant "Palestine from nan stream to nan sea," they are really calling for nan "extermination of nan Jewish state."

"They deliberation that Israel shouldn't beryllium astatine all," Sales told "Sunday Night successful America." "This is exterminationist rhetoric and our First Amendment intends that we person to tolerate this benignant of speech, but nan antidote for that benignant of abhorrent reside is much speech. We request to expose what these Hamas sympathizers are really each about." 

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Hayes is moving unopposed successful nan Democratic primary, while Logan, who mislaid to Hayes during nan 2022 midterms, is hoping for a wide predetermination rematch successful November. His only force successful nan GOP superior is nationalist assemblage worker Michelle Botelho. 

Election analysts mostly position nan title for Connecticut's 5th Congressional District arsenic "leans Democratic."

Fox News' Maria Lencki contributed to this report.

Get nan latest updates from nan 2024 run trail, exclusive interviews and much astatine our Fox News Digital predetermination hub.