Paul Ryan challenger singles out Jewish critics in anti-Semitic jab
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Paul Ryan challenger singles out Jewish critics in anti-Semitic jab

One day earlier, Paul Nehlen appeared on David Duke's radio show, saying he's endured 'relentless attacks' because 'Jews control the media'

Eric Cortellessa covers American politics for The Times of Israel.

Paul Nehlen, a Republican challenger to House Speaker Paul Ryan, speaks in Janesville, Wis. Nehlen says he believes an unfounded right-wing online conspiracy theory dubbed "pizzagate" on Aug. 3, 2016. The conspiracy theory claims Democrats harbor child sex slaves at a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer, File)
Paul Nehlen, a Republican challenger to House Speaker Paul Ryan, speaks in Janesville, Wis. Nehlen says he believes an unfounded right-wing online conspiracy theory dubbed "pizzagate" on Aug. 3, 2016. The conspiracy theory claims Democrats harbor child sex slaves at a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer, File)

WASHINGTON — A Wisconsin congressional hopeful accused of anti-Semitism claimed a Jewish conspiracy against him on Twitter Tuesday, publishing a list of critics, most of whom he said were Jewish.

Paul Nehlan, a member of the so-called alt-right, is hoping to replace House speaker Paul Ryan, but has been frequently criticized for his use of Islamophobic and anti-Semitic imagery as well as his association with white nationalist figures.

“I’ve compiled a list of ‘verified’ Twitter users who have attacked me *in just the last month alone* for my positions,” Nehlen said in a tweet Tuesday. “Of those 81 people, 74 are Jews, while only 7 are non-Jews.”

Among those mentioned are CNN anchor Jake Tapper, Commentary magazine editor John Podhoretz, New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol and Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

Some of the people he labeled as Jewish, however, are not, such as Kassie Dillon, who founded a conservative student publication. She tweeted a correction, as did some others.

The catalog marked the second episode in two days where Nehlen demonstrated overt anti-Semitism. On Monday, he went on David Duke’s radio program to complain that “relentless attacks” against him happened because “Jews control the media.”

Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, later promoted the appearance through Twitter. “Dr. Duke and Candidate Paul Nehlen Expose the Zio Attack on Him & All of Us!” the tweet said.

Originally backed by former White House chief strategist and Breitbart executive chairman, Nehlan is running to unseat Ryan for a second time after getting trounced in 2016.

Nehlen’s frequent dissemination of alt-right memes and deployment of anti-Semitic tropes and Islamophobic rhetoric has rendered him politically isolated, with the exception of self-identified white nationalists who back him.

Even Breitbart, the incendiary website known for trafficking in its own bigoted invective, pulled its support of the Wisconsin businessman. Radio host Curt Schilling tweeted in December that he would no longer give him a platform, for he was a “fascist making no attempt to cover up his beliefs.”

And indeed, he has gone on several Twitter rants since that have been less than subtle in their anti-Jewish vitriol.

“Jesus is the Messiah. He is One with the Father and the Holy Ghost,” he tweeted last week. “Jews (and others) who do not acknowledge this fact will burn in hell.”

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