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Iowa Jews Call On Steve King’s Donors To Dump Him

Some religious communities in Iowa have come together against Rep. Steve King, after a gunman killed 11 at prayer in a Pittsburgh synagogue over the weekend.

The Des Moines Register published a letter on Wednesday by two Jewish leaders in King’s district, where they say the Republican is “an enthusiastic crusader for the same types of abhorrent beliefs held by the Pittsburgh shooter.”

An interfaith group also spoke out — more than 60 members, a mix of Christians, Muslims, Jews and other faiths, penned an open letter stating that King “bears some responsibility for inciting the kind of hatred that led to last week’s horrific violence.”

Both letters list King’s long history of inflammatory comments, many of which tout nationalism. They also brought up his trip to Poland: After five days touring the country’s historical Jewish sites, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, he traveled to Austria, where he had an interview with members of a far-right Austrian party with Nazi ties and lamented how “Western civilization is on the decline.”

“We are proud Iowans who span the political spectrum but we are united in our condemnation of white supremacy and anti-Semitism and the legislator from Iowa’s 4th congressional district who promotes it,” wrote Alan Steckman, president of Adas Israel in Mason City, and John Pleasants, president of Ames Jewish Congregation, who also called on King to apologizes to Holocaust survivors and the Jewish communities.

Both letters also call on his donors to withdraw their funding, as Intel and Land O’ Lakes recently did.

The Anti-Defamation League also wrote a letter, urging Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to take “formal disciplinary action” against King, listing his various anti-Semitic actions.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

This story "Iowa Jews Call On Steve King Donors To Dump Him" was written by Alyssa Fisher.

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