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George Santos says he’s ‘speechless and appalled’ by antisemitic flyers in his district

On House floor, indicted congressman who falsely claimed grandparents were Holocaust survivors condemns ‘anti-Jewish propaganda’

U.S. Rep. George Santos, who falsely claimed his grandparents survived the Holocaust, said on the House floor that he was “speechless and appalled” by antisemitic flyers distributed in his district. 

The New York Republican said his constituents in Plainview, Long Island, “were subject to the intimidation of the Goyim Defense League,” an antisemitic hate group. “The henchman of the GDL descended on my district and distributed flyers that featured anti-Jewish propaganda images of the Star of David drawn onto the heads of lawmakers,” he said.

It was unclear whether Santos was referring to GDL founder Jon Minadeo Jr. and whether Minadeo had visited Plainview himself. The organization, based in Florida, has stepped up its activity in recent months, accounting for 58% of antisemitic propaganda incidents in the U.S. last year, according to a recent report by the Anti-Defamation League. Those incidents occurred in 43 different states and included high-profile activities like projecting antisemitic messages onto the sides of  buildings in Florida

The flyers, pictured in a report that aired Sunday on News12 Long Island, said, among other things, that “Every single aspect of gun control is Jewish,” and featured pictures of Jewish officials including U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer. 

Santos said he wanted to “call attention to the concerning rise of antisemitism that is proliferating nationwide.” 

In May, Santos pleaded not guilty to a 13-count federal indictment accusing him of campaign theft, unemployment fraud and other crimes. Despite the charges, he has refused to resign and says he will run for reelection.

He has also repeatedly been photographed making a gesture that his critics interpret as a white-power hand signal.

Santos’ numerous falsehoods include a phony resume, fake academic credentials and false claims of having a Jewish mother and Jewish grandparents who fled persecution in Ukraine and Belgium. A Forward investigation showed that his mother was Catholic and his maternal grandparents were born in Brazil before the Nazis rose to power. He later joked that he was merely “Jew-ish,” but has also claimed that DNA tests show he has Jewish ancestry, though he has offered no proof.

At least five people have declared their intention to run against him for his Congressional seat in 2024.

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