'I'm no antisemite' says RFK Jr after saying Jews had immunity from covid

The nephew of JFK said that he would be Israel's biggest supporter as president


BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 29: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (C), nephew of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, greets people from a wide spectrum, including coronavirus skeptics, conspiracy enthusiasts, right-wing extremists, religious conservatives, hippies and others gathered under the Victory Column in the city center to hear speeches during a protest against coronavirus-related restrictions and government policy as Michael Ballweg (L), founder of the Querdenker movement, looks on on August 29, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. City authorities had banned the planned protest, citing the flouting of social distancing by participants in a similar march that drew at least 17,000 people a few weeks ago, but a court overturned the ban. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(JNS) US Presidential candidate RFK Jr has defended himself against claims of antisemitism after controversial comments he made about covid being 'ethnically engineered' to affect Jews less.

“It’s clear to me now that I need to be much more careful,” Kennedy told JNS.

“I have to learn a lesson from this, and the lesson I learn is that I have to understand that the words that I use have an impact, and they can be misused and misinterpreted,” he said. “I regret talking about that study, and I am going to be careful to make sure that I don’t do anything like that in the future.”

Kennedy told JNS that his remarks about a scholarly paper on COVID-19 should never have been quoted.

“I made a statement in a meeting that was presented to us as Chatham House rules, as a closed meeting,” he said. “I made an accurate statement about an NIH-funded study. I regret ever talking about that now because it’s clear that even accurate facts will be distorted and misconstrued in ways that hurt people.”

“The last thing I want to do is be hurtful to people, particularly Jewish people, who have already suffered more than any other race,” he added.

Kennedy told JNS that he needs to be more careful about what he says in the future and that self-censoring presents a dilemma.

“People really need the truth more than at any time. Politicians are always editing their comments for effect, and at some level, that’s manipulative,” he acknowledged. “But I also understand that there has to be a balance, and I regret saying what I said at that meeting because it’s caused so much harm, and it’s caused so much hurt to so many people. Not because of what I said or what I intended, but by the way it was distorted.”

As a presidential candidate, Kennedy thinks he must be more cautious.

“I have a very thick skin, and so much of this stuff bounces off of me,” he added. “All I really need is a clear conscience. That’s my consolation.”

But, Kennedy was emphatic that he is not an antisemite.

“The worst two accusations that anybody can make about you are that you’re an antisemite or a pedophile,” he told JNS. “I don’t think there’s anything worse.”  

The most he thinks he can do is to try to maintain his personal integrity, Kennedy told JNS. 
“Ultimately, the success of this venture is in God’s hands, and the only thing I have control over is the little piece of real estate inside of my own shoes,” he said. “My biggest objective is to end this process with my integrity intact. My second objective is to get elected president of the United States.”

“As a practice, I don’t compare anything to the Holocaust. I’ve been accused of doing that, but I never did it,” Kennedy told JNS. “You can look at my words. In the two instances where I was accused of doing that, I actually didn’t do it.”

In January 2022, Kennedy apologized for a comment that people were then worse off than Anne Frank was during World War II. He has made other statements that critics have said drew improper comparisons to the Holocaust.

“I think you lose arguments if you compare people to Hitler,” he told JNS. “But I think it’s really important that we are able to talk about these aspects of history.”

Kennedy worries about “the pervasive reach of technology,” particularly artificial intelligence (AI), facial-recognition programs, GPS and listening devices, which he sees as “turnkey totalitarianism.”

“It is very important for the population to be educated enough to recognize all the milestones of tyranny,” he said. “It’s important to be able to say, ‘What he’s doing is the same technique that was used by the Third Reich.’ Or that was used by [Joseph] Goebbels or [Hermann] Göring, and I think it’s really important to understand the history, to have a thorough knowledge of history and to be able to make those comparisons, so that we can steer clear of that kind of future.”

Kennedy told JNS that it is inappropriate when people compare former President Donald Trump or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler, or make “appalling” comparisons between Jews and Nazis.

“I think the public has the ability to say, ‘OK. That person is not in touch with reality who is making those comparisons’,” he said. “I think it’s important for us to be able to talk about our history and have those historical references if we’re going to make sure it never happens again.”

Kennedy hadn’t met Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters when he publicly expressed support for the musician. He told JNS he had no idea that Waters had made anti-Israel statements. All he knew was that people would send him pictures they snapped at Waters’s concerts, during which the singer displayed Kennedy’s photo on stage.

What he did know was that Waters was an active critic of COVID protocols, as he is.
“I posted a thank you for his courage, but I was talking about COVID. As soon as someone alerted me about his opinions about Israel, I took it down,” he said. (Kennedy said that his close friend Adam Aron, chief executive officer of AMC Theatres, told him he also had no idea about Waters’s views. “And he’s Jewish,” Kennedy said)

In 2014, Kennedy penned a book about mercury in vaccines. He wrote that multi-dose flu shots, which were largely distributed to minorities, had large amounts of mercury, while single-dose ones, which were made available to more wealthy people, were safer.
Someone in the Nation of Islam, who read the book, asked him to give a talk to leaders of the movement. “I said, ‘Yes I will.’ They have 400,000 followers. I wanted to protect the children, so I went to Chicago and I gave that talk,” Kennedy told JNS.

“I’ve never endorsed anything that Louis Farrakhan has said. I’m an opponent of his,” he said. 

Kennedy had partnered for years with a Nation of Islam minister named Tony Muhammad, whom he called a close friend and who was known for brokering peace between the Crips and the Bloods. Kennedy made a documentary with him about “medical apartheid,” he told JNS.

Then an Israel woman, who was a former member of the Israel Defense Forces Kennedy hired to run a program on “radio frequency traditions of cell phones and cell towers” alerted him to Farrakhan’s positions on Israel and Jews.

Kennedy told Muhammad, “Listen, Tony. I love you, but I cannot be your friend unless you publicly disavow those views,” he told JNS. “He said, ‘I understand. I cannot do that.’ That was the end of our friendship. I’ve never seen him since. That was not something I did publicly. It was very painful for me. But at the same time, I feel strongly about it and it was something I felt I had to do.”

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