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‘Beyond alarming’: Jewish leaders demand House Dem fire top campaign aide who praised notorious antisemite

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A Jewish organization is calling on a House Democrat running for Senate to sever ties with a top campaign adviser who attended a convention organized by a notorious antisemite and posted a photo online smiling alongside him.

‘It is beyond alarming that a major U.S. Senate candidate and sitting member of Congress employs political staff who associate with Louis Farrakhan,’ Liora Rez, Founder and Executive Director of StopAntisemitism, told Fox News Digital in a blistering statement attacking Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich.

‘For decades now, Farrakhan has in the most vile, disgusting, and radical terms denounced Jews and Judaism,’ she said. ‘Given Rep. Slotkin’s extensive experience in counterterrorism, intelligence, and international security, it is concerning that she was unaware of this advisor’s connection to Farrakhan.’

 ‘Not only should Rep. Slotkin immediately remove this individual from her orbit, but more importantly, she must make it clear that this type of hate has no place in her campaign for Senate, and put into place thorough vetting processes,’ Rez continued. ‘Additionally, it is incumbent upon the press to dig deeper and demand more answers as to how the Congresswoman became affiliated with such a radical.’

Rez’s comment follows a Fox News Digital report on Terra DeFoe, Slotkin’s deputy political director, who posted on Facebook in 2017 about her ‘full week’ of ‘supporting the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’ at the Nation of Islam’s ‘Saviours’ Day Convention.’

One of the photos DeFoe posted included Farrakhan and a smiling Mike Duggan, the Democratic mayor of Detroit recently praised by President Biden at the NAACP dinner earlier this month, alongside Nation of Islam members. 

Between July 2023 and March 2024, DeFoe received almost $60,000 from Slotkin’s campaign for a range of payments, including salary, stipends, and reimbursements, according to FEC records reviewed by Fox News Digital. March 2024 disbursements are from the most up-to-date public filings, so the amount will likely be higher when July’s report is released.

Farrakhan has compared Jewish people to termites, praised Hitler as a ‘great man’ and has become one of the most controversial religious figures in the United States due to his derogatory comments about Israel.

Since taking leadership of the Nation of Islam in the late 1970s, Farrakhan has been accused of antisemitism and homophobia for his comments and sermons.

Farrakhan has blamed Jews for, among other things, the slave trade, Jim Crow and black oppression in general.

Chris Gustafson, the communications director for a former House Republican who is also running for Senate in Michigan, slammed Slotkin for employing DeFoe.

‘Elissa Slotkin likes to talk a big game on being a national security expert, yet she can’t even secure her own campaign from the antisemites that are taking over the Democrat Party,’ Gustafson, a top aide on Mike Rogers’ Senate campaign, told Fox News Digital in a statement.

‘In today’s world, support for Jew-hatred – like support for other forms of bigotry and racism – cannot be tolerated,’ Brooke Goldstein, a human rights attorney who serves as the CEO of the Lawfare Project and founder of the End Jew Hatred Movement, told Fox News Digital.

‘It is inexcusable that anyone supports Louis Farrakhan’s venomous hate, but all the more troubling that supporters like Terra DeFoe are in a position of trust and authority among elected officials, and are therefore capable of causing significant damage to our core value of equality under the law.’

‘It should be uncomfortable for Democrats that Michigan political operatives like DeFoe and politicians like Tlaib to brazenly attend antisemitic events – but it isn’t,’ Goldstein added. ‘Elissa Slotkin has not yet fired Defoe, signaling a shocking level of comfort with Jew-hatred for an elected official who is both Jewish and has called on universities to do more to keep students safe.’

Goldstein also called for Slotkin, who is Jewish, to ‘demonstrate her commitment to equality under the law by immediately terminating Defoe’s employment.’

‘We don’t need equivocation or justification on the part of elected representatives like Slotkin, any more than we need inaction. Failure to impose consequences on blatant Jew-hatred and anti-Americanism will have a significant impact on Election Day.’

Slotkin is currently running as a Democrat to represent Michigan in the U.S. Senate.

Fox News Digital reached out to Slotkin’s office and campaign for comment but did not receive a response.

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