Back in November, we reported how some members of the infamous Hamas Caucus were going to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), begging him to call off powerful critics of their anti-Israel rhetoric amid announcements that they were receiving formidable primary challengers in 2024.

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Among those facing competition in the primary is Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.). 

Along with her fellow Squad members, Lee has been in the hot seat since the Hamas-instigated war with Israel began on October 7th.  Though the 12th Congressional District she represents is home to a large Jewish population (and is where the Tree of Life Synagogue is located), Lee joined the “ceasefire now” chorus early on. 

Worse, she has made so many anti-Israel statements that Jewish leaders in her district very recently (again) expressed concern that she’s ventured into antisemitic territory and that there is no turning back.


READ: Intraparty Heat Intensifies Against AOC’s Squad As Chickens Come Home to Roost Over ‘Ceasefire’ Demands


In the midst of all the incoming she’s facing, Lee has gone strangely silent after it was reported Tuesday that the person behind the popular D.C.-based “Dear White Staffers” Instagram account, which went from being a grievance account for overworked and underpaid Hill staffers to an anti-Israel bash-fest after 10/7, has been narrowed down to… someone in Lee’s office:

Jewish Insider has been able to link the Dear White Staffers account to a staffer working for Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA), an early opponent of Israel’s war against Hamas, who faced backlash last week for plans to appear at a gala alongside speakers who have made antisemitic and homophobic comments. Lee later pulled out of the Council on American Islamic Relations event after receiving criticism from other Pennsylvania Democrats, including Gov. Josh Shapiro.

Multiple sources told JI that concurrent posts on the Dear White Staffers account and a personal social media account of the Lee staffer placed the two accounts in the same place in Los Angeles at the same time. JI has seen screenshots of the posts in question. Several Democratic staffers described Dear White Staffers’ identity as an open secret among a growing number of Hill staff.

The Lee staffer appears, masked but identifiable, in a photo from a cease-fire protest on Capitol Hill, which had been promoted by the Dear White Staffers account. Dear White Staffers’ posts about the length of their tenure on Capitol Hill are consistent with that of the Lee staffer.

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Jewish Insider also noted that Lee’s office did not respond to their media inquiries.

Though the JI didn’t directly identify the staffer in question, Free Beacon named who they say is the person behind the account:

Publicly, Philip Bennett serves as operations director for Squad member Rep. Summer Lee (D., Pa.), a role in which he works closely with the congresswoman on scheduling and operation. Privately, however, Bennett moonlights as the hand behind “Dear White Staffers,” a once-anonymous Instagram account originally intended to highlight the plight of minority staffers on Capitol Hill.

The account gained popularity in 2022 as an outlet for staffers to gripe about their bosses behind the veil of anonymity and to share “horror stories” from the halls of Congress. Following Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel, Bennett has instead used the platform to accuse Israel of genocide. He has also argued that Israel is the hidden hand behind the allegedly inappropriate tactics employed by the Capitol Police and joined Hamas in lionizing Aaron Bushnell, the U.S. airman who lit himself on fire to protest Israel.

[…]

Bennett was arrested in October during his participation in an anti-Israel protest on Capitol Hill, during which demonstrators occupied an office building to demand an immediate ceasefire. Bennett said he joined the protest spontaneously and thanked the organizers for helping him feel “seen, at peace, and validated.”

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Bennett also previously worked for antisemitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

Though staffers behaving badly, or in this case, abhorrently, cannot always be laid at the feet of their bosses, at the very least Lee has very publicly fostered a hostile environment in which open disdain for Israel that crosses the line into antisemitism has been deemed perfectly acceptable in the eyes of at least one of her staffers, and probably more.

Combined with her early demand for an unconditional ceasefire, her close alliance with the Hamas Caucus, and the inflammatory rhetoric she’s put out there about Israel, the emerging staffer issue is going to create even more of an uphill climb for Lee in the April primary, where she is set to face off against businesswoman and Edgewood Borough Council member Bhavini Patel, who has faced intimidation tactics from Lee’s supporters and staff since announcing her candidacy in October.

Will Lee end up being the first Squad member to go down in defeat? We’ll keep you posted on developments in this primary race. As always, stay tuned.

Related: AOC, Cori Bush Step in It Big Time After Accusing AIPAC of ‘Exploiting’ Hamas Rape Victims