Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Calling Zionists ‘Cockroaches’ Isn’t Racist, Politician Claims

A Georgia city council candidate defended himself against allegations of anti-Semitism last week, saying that his tweets describing Zionists as “cockroaches” and calls for Jews to be removed from the White House do not make him racist.

“I’m absolutely not racist in the very least,” Joe Briggs told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Briggs, a 59-year-old engineer who is running for a city council post in a suburb of Atlanta, has been tweeting about Jews and Israel over the last year. The posts, which came to light in the lead up to Tuesday’s election, are critical of Israel’s government and its role in American politics, but also criticize Jews more broadly. Briggs once wrote: “zionists in Israel far worse than anything described in Mein Kampf. Get over it.”

“Get the Jews out of the White House and out of POTUS’ ear,” Briggs wrote in a tweet from September about Iran.

“At least the Nazis assimilated and contributed to US society,” Briggs also tweeted.

A few days later, he wrote, “The problem is that Jews don’t care about racism — because they are racist. They only care about racism directed towards them. Square that.”

Dov Wilker, the director of the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta office, called Briggs’ comments “severely offensive and insulting.”

“Especially any comment about Jews as bugs or cockroaches is an indication, it’s classic anti-Zionist trope,” Wilker told the newspaper.

Email Sam Kestenbaum at and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum




    50th meeting of the Yiddish Open Mic Cafe

    Hybrid event in London and online.

    Aug 14, 2022

    1:30 pm ET · 

    Join audiences and participants from across the globe for this live celebration of Yiddish songs, poems, jokes, stories, games, serious and funny - all performed in Yiddish with English translation.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit the Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, images, and credit to the Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.