Trenton City Councilman George Muschal is unsure why people are making such a stink about his colleague’s anti-Semitic statement, saying her comment was merely a highly-used expression that meant nothing “vicious.”
The expression in question was “Jew down,” reportedly uttered by Council President Kathy McBride during a recent closed-door meeting.
“You know, it’s like a car dealer, they wanted $5,000, you Jew ‘em down to $4,000,” Muschal told The New Jersey Globe. “It’s nothing vicious. The expression has been said millions of times.”
McBride’s use of the term reportedly happened during a discussion of a lawsuit settlement involving resident Vivian Soto. The council president is quoted as saying Assistant City Attorney Peter Cohen was “able to wait her out and Jew her down” to lower the settlement amount.
Muschal defended McBride, though he admitted he was not present and did not hear her use the phrase. The longtime councilman was adamant that the expression is not anti-Semitic: “It wasn’t nothing maliciously done. It was about money. That’s why they said Jew them down.”
He also told the newspaper he believes this is a case of selective outrage that is political in nature, spurred by a leak of McBride’s comment to the press.
“I consider politicians corrupt,” said Muschal, who The New Jersey Globe noted is “a 71-year-old retired police officer who acknowledged that he’s served on the City Council for fourteen years, including four months as Acting Mayor in 2014.”
Muschal said the issue has been “blown out of proportion.”