US Congressional candidate seeks help against critics ‘working for Jewish media’
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US Congressional candidate seeks help against critics ‘working for Jewish media’

Paul Nehlen, who lost the support of Steve Bannon over anti-Semitism, active in private Twitter group where he coordinates online attacks on opponents — report

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Paul Nehlen speaks after losing to House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin's primary, August 9, 2016. (Angela Major/The Janesville Gazette via AP)
Paul Nehlen speaks after losing to House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin's primary, August 9, 2016. (Angela Major/The Janesville Gazette via AP)

Paul Nehlen, a congressional candidate who lost the support of alt-right platform Breitbart due to his anti-Semitic comments, has reportedly been using anti-Jewish sentiment posted online to urge activists to harass his opponents.

Among comments posted by Nehlen to a private Twitter direct message group titled CityRevoltVoteNehlen were accusations that his critics were “working for the Jewish media,” Buzzfeed reported on Friday.

Nehlen is running in 2018 to unseat Representative Paul Ryan (Republican of Wisconsin), the speaker of the US House of Representatives. In December, Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to US President Donald Trump, and Breitbart News, reportedly cut all ties to Nehlen after he expressed anti-Semitic sentiments.

Bannon, who was once executive chairman of Breitbart but has since been ousted, had in the past backed Nehlen’s campaign.

Sources who had access to the private group said Nehlen asked followers in the online forum to hound critics and political opponents.

In one message, Nehlen posted a list of critics with the message, “There are a list of goys attacking me, and a separate list of Jews.” The term goy is a Hebrew and Yiddish phrase for gentiles considered derogatory.

Referring to Town Hall magazine columnist Kurt Schlichter and far-right Rebel Media website talk show host John Cardillo, Nehlen posted, “its [sic] pretty obviously Cardillo and others like him are working for Jewish media then there are fake conservatives who happen to be Jewish. Im [sic] going to decimate them all and y'[all are gonna help me.”

Members of the group responded with comments of support.

Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling on CNN, October 22, 2016 (YouTube screenshot)

Nehlen has also embraced the white supremacist slogan “It’s okay to be white.”

One participant in the group appears to be Eli Mosley, a white nationalist who helped organize the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville last August during which a counter-protester was killed. Mosley is also one of the leaders of the white supremacist group Identity Evropa.

The report said that a member with Mosley’s name joined the group and urged other participants to badger Nehlen’s opponents on Twitter. One of those Mosley painted a target on was former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, a host on Breitbart Radio.

On December 29 Schilling revoked an invitation to Nehlen to discuss his views on his show, writing on his own Twitter account that he didn’t want to give a platform to a man who is “so ignorant as to be in need of help” and “a fascist making no attempt to cover up his beliefs.”

The next day, the Mosley account messaged the private group, saying “Let’s get really offensive against Curt Schilling and anyone who attacks Paul. Make sure they understand that people don’t like when they attack their own.”

Among the sometimes crude abuse directed at Schilling was use of the “Schilling for Sheckles” taunt — an apparent reference to Israel’s shekel currency.

One former member of CityRevoltVoteNehlen told BuzzFeed that Nehlen also used additional Twitter groups to arrange attacks on his opponents.

House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, December 5, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP)

In 2016, Breitbart and Bannon enthusiastically endorsed and supported Nehlen’s bid to unseat Ryan. Nehlen embraced many of Bannon’s positions, including a rejection of the Republican establishment, a call for a crackdown on illegal immigration and limits on legal immigration.

The effort was a failure: Ryan won the 2016 primary in Wisconsin’s First District with 84 percent while Nehlen, a businessman, won 15% of the vote.

Nehlen has since positioned himself as pro-Israel but also has embraced anti-Jewish themes in social media.

Last week Bannon stepped down as editor of the Breitbart News website amid criticism of comments he was quoted making in the book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” — an explosive behind-the-scenes account that questions the president’s fitness for office.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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