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GOP lawmaker uses ‘Shtisel’ cast photo to show solidarity with Jews

Seeking to distance herself from candidate Wendy Rogers, who was accused of antisemitism, Arizona state senator Kelly Townsend shares photo of fictional dysfunctional Haredi family

Arizona state Sen. Kelly Townsend chose a publicity shot from the TV series 'Shtisel' to illustrate her opposition to antisemitism. (Screenshot)
Arizona state Sen. Kelly Townsend chose a publicity shot from the TV series 'Shtisel' to illustrate her opposition to antisemitism. (Screenshot)

JTA — An Arizona state senator wanted to make it clear that she reviled the antisemitism of one of her colleagues, so she shared an image of the cast of the Israeli family drama “Shtisel.”

Kelly Townsend, a Republican, no longer wants the endorsement of her colleague, Wendy Rogers, after Rogers drew national attention for a slew of antisemitic and white nationalist statements this week.

“The silver lining in the most recent unpleasantry at the Arizona Senate is that it is flushing out the true anti-Semites,” Rogers wrote Thursday on Twitter. “I am surprised, not surprised, by the people on our side who can’t bring themselves to condemn such hate speech. #Israel #Chosen #PrayForThePeaceOfJerusalem”

The illustration she chose was a cast photo of “Shtisel,” the drama about a dysfunctional Haredi Orthodox family in Jerusalem. In the publicity picture, Nukhem Shtisel, played by Sasson Gabbay, is staring balefully at the brother he despises, Shulem Shtisel, played by Doval’e Glickman.

Although it would certainly be accurate to state that Jews love “Shtisel,” it wasn’t clear why Townsend, who is running for the US House of Representatives, chose the image to illustrate that she stands with the Jewish people.

Townsend soon took down the tweet, and replaced it with another, with the same text, this time illustrated by the Israeli flag.

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