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A congressman reportedly employs ‘neo-Nazis.’ Jewish House members want him censured

A group of five freshman lawmakers called on the House GOP leadership to censure Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar

A group of Jewish first-year lawmakers are calling on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican from Arizona. They made the demand in response to reports that Gosar employs staffers who are ardent followers of Nick Fuentes, a prominent white supremacist and Holocaust denier. 

“We’re asking that you stand as an ally to the Jewish people at home and that you take a strong stand against the antisemitism and white supremacy flourishing in your own party,” the Democratic House members wrote in a letter published on Wednesday. The signatories are Reps. Dan Goldman of New York, Seth Magaziner of Rhode Island, Becca Balint of Vermont, Jared Moskowitz of Florida and Greg Landsman of Ohio, who were elected last year to Congress.

Gosar faced backlash in recent days after Talking Points Memo and the Arizona Republic reported that two of his staffers, Wade Searle and Landen Petersen, anonymously operated social media accounts called the “Groyper army,” promoting white supremacist content and using antisemitic stereotypes that disparaged Jewish people. 

“The presence of proud neo-Nazis is a threat to people of color and Jewish Americans who work here at the Capitol as well as the people we serve,” said Balint, whose grandfather was murdered in the Holocaust

Alan Zeichick, chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix, called on the House leadership to “unequivocally denounce” Gosar’s behavior. “This certainly isn’t the first time Rep. Gosar has embraced neo-Nazis,” he said. “We presume it won’t be the last.”

Gosar has repeatedly associated with white nationalists in recent years. He attended several conferences organized by Fuentes and appeared on the southern border with a pro-Nazi blogger. Media Matters, a left-leaning nonprofit that monitors news outlets, has charged that Gosar, on at least 30 occasions, has embraced antisemitic tropes and antisemites. 

The Arizona Republican faced backlash last month for promoting antisemitic content in his weekly newsletter, which he distributes each Sunday through his U.S. House email. Earlier this month, Gosar shared a stage with members of the European political party that was founded by former Nazi officers and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán,  an authoritarian leader who has invoked antisemitic tropes.

The House already voted to censure Gosar in 2021 and stripped him from his committee assignments after he shared on social media a violent animated video that depicts him killing New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden.

Gosar refused to comment on the revelations about his staffers and told a reporter on Capitol Hill to “take a hike” when he asked him about it. 

“Rep. Gosar should appreciate that there is a lot of talent out there,” Landsman said in a statement. “He doesn’t need to hire a Nazi.” 

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