Kristin Mink joins student loan borrowers at a rally in front of The White House in 2022. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We the 45m)

Montgomery County Councilmember Kristin Mink (D-Dist. 5) sent her second apology of the week Tuesday, this time attempting to make amends for two tweets in 2019 in which she called Jared Kushner and his former assistant “Zionist jews.” The tweets have since been deleted.

Mink tweeted her apology on Tuesday night: “In 2019, I sent two tweets which referenced Zionism in relation to actions the Trump administration was taking. Since then, I came to understand that language like that is hurtful to many people in the Jewish community and could fuel the machinery of division and fear that makes everyone, including and especially Jews, less safe. I would not use those words today, and I am deeply sorry I did in 2019.”

Fox News resurfaced Mink’s tweets in a June 9 article and said she had a history of anti-Israel commentary.

In the tweets, which have since been deleted, Mink criticized the Trump administration for hiring Kushner’s former assistant, Avi Berkowitz, as their Middle East envoy. She also linked a Telegraph article about Trump’s announcement of the new hire.

“Both are Zionist Jews loyal to the Trumps with zero relevant experience,” she wrote, in reference to Kushner and Berkowitz. Kushner is the former senior advisor and son-in-law to former President Donald Trump.

Councilmember Mink received backlash after her tweets from 2019 resurfaced by Fox News. Tweets have since been deleted. Credit: Screenshot from Mink’s Twitter account.

Since the resurfacing of the tweet, several Jewish advocacy organizations have commented on the matter as well as County Council member Andrew Friedson (D-Dist. 1), who is Jewish.


Friedson told MoCo360 that he also spoke with Mink this week about the “deeply offensive and hurtful nature” of her tweets from 2019.

“It really is my hope that these conversations will help build bridges and foster greater understanding so that we can actually bring people together to combat the scourge of antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and racism and all forms of bigotry,” Friedson said. “I think it’s important to recognize that our words matter, especially those of us in positions of power, that we have to use them to heal, not to harm, and listen to each other rather than label each other.”

Ron Halber, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC), told MoCo360 that he believed that Mink was genuine in her remorse and was truly apologetic. Separate from the tweet, Mink emailed an apology to Halber.


“After speaking with councilmember Mink, I think we had a very positive conversation about the history of Israel, the use of the word Zionism,” Halber said. “… It was a step in the right direction … but I think also that it would help the councilmember to understand the important role that Zionism or the creation of the State of Israel, means in the lives of most American Jews. Whether, you know, critical of a certain government’s policy or not, most American Jews take deep pride in the fact that there’s a strong prosperous Jewish state.”

Halber explained that Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people with the desire to have their own sovereign state. He said that because Israel does have enemies, specifically countries such as Iran, who want to “destroy” the state of Israel and “wipe out Zionists,” the word Zionist has become demonized.

Laura Wallace, the Maryland and Montgomery County organizing director of Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) wrote in a statement to MoCo360 that JUFJ appreciates how Mink reached out and listened to a range of voices in the Jewish community about her comments.


Jews United for Justice is a Baltimore and Washington D.C.-based organization. According to their website, JUFJ strives to advance economic, racial and social justice in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. region through educating and mobilizing Jewish communities.

“We have worked with her even before she was on the Council, and we know she understands that we can only dismantle antisemitism and all forms of oppression by working together across lines of difference,” Wallace wrote. “The same cannot be said for Fox News and others who are attempting to use the accusation of antisemitism to smear and hurt a progressive non-Jewish woman of color and create fear and division.

“We are not naive, and we recognize attempts to use Jewish communities to divide our diverse county and turn us against each other. We have used this opportunity to further strengthen our relationship with Councilmember Mink, and we know that she is committed to working with us and other Jewish organizations to build a county where all of us—no matter our religion, where we come from, or what we look like—can flourish.”


Friedson added that it is their job as public officials and community leaders to use their words carefully and talk about issues in ways that will “build bridges” and show younger people and children how to be respectful to others who they may disagree with, without being divisive or defensive.

“One of the benefits of living in a diverse place like Montgomery County, is that we have a wide breadth of different people from different backgrounds with different views, and different identities, and different traditions and different faiths and different philosophies. In order to be truly diverse, we have to respect those differences and embrace those differences,” Friedson said.