POLITICS
11/21/2019 10:05 EST | Updated 11/21/2019 14:52 EST

Jewish Groups Demand Stephen Miller Resign From White House

As the White House smears critics of the Trump adviser as anti-Semitic, Miller's "fellow American Jews" cited "irrefutable proof" of his white nationalism.

Multiple Jewish groups have called on White House senior adviser Stephen Miller to resign after leaked emails published last week showed the extent of his white nationalist worldview.

Jews Against White Nationalism, an initiative involving eight Jewish organizations, released a statement Tuesday calling Miller a “white nationalist” and the “architect of the Trump administration’s cruel and endless attacks on immigrants.”

“And with irrefutable proof of his deep-seated racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia,” the statement continued, “and with evidence that he has promoted websites spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories, he cannot be allowed to remain a federal employee.”

The eight organizations — Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, The Jewish Vote, T’ruah, Never Again Action, J Street, IfNotNow, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, and the Jewish Vote — launched an online petition addressed to Miller.

“As your fellow American Jews,” the petition states, “we will not rest until you resign.” 

The petition adds to mounting pressure from the Jewish community to get Miller to leave the White House, and offers a sharp rebuke to the White House’s twisted attempt to smear Miller’s critics as anti-Semites.

Over the last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center has published a series of bombshell stories analyzing 900 emails it obtained showing Miller messaging editors of the far-right website Breitbart in 2015 and 2016, when he was working as an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

The emails show Miller actively shaping Breitbart’s coverage of race and immigration by suggesting that editors there aggregate stories from white supremacist websites; writing about the book “Camp of Saints,” a racist French novel favored by fascists and neo-Nazis that depicts feces-eating brown people invading Europe; and promoting immigration policies once praised by Adolf Hitler.

In response, the White House, while never providing evidence that the emails weren’t authentic, lashed out at the SPLC, calling it an “utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization.”

An unnamed White House official also told Axios that it was “clearly a form of anti-Semitism to levy these attacks against Jewish staffer.”

The White House is so clearly trying to use scurrilous accusations to silence very real criticism.Sophie Ellman-Golan, a leader of the Jews Against White Nationalism campaign

And after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) launched a petition calling for Miller’s resignation, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Yahoo News that “those defaming” Miller “are trying to deny his Jewish identity which is a pernicious form of anti-Semitism and this outrageous smear dishonors the memories of Jewish victims of anti-Semitic persecution across the globe.”

Sophie Ellman-Golan, a leader of the Jews Against White Nationalism campaign, called the Trump administration’s allegations of anti-Semitism “outrageous.” 

“The White House is so clearly trying to use scurrilous accusations to silence very real criticism,” she told HuffPost.

“One of the things that disturbs me the most is witnessing the White House trying to render the word anti-Semitism meaningless while actually making the rise of this thing much worse,” Ellman-Golan said, “because we’ve seen the rise of anti-Semitism accompany this president’s administration, and really so much of that has been incited by Trump and members of the Republican Party, so much of the harm against Jews. And yet this is the party that’s eagerly throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism, and using Jews to hit at their political opponents.”

This sentiment was echoed by Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman, who is Jewish, in a recent article. “I’m sure that at some point, someone made a more repugnant attempt to use an accusation of anti-Semitism to shield someone from accountability for their own bigotry,” Waldman wrote. “I just can’t recall any.”

Earlier this week, the Jewish Democratic Council of America called Miller a “racist, a bigot, and a shanda ― a shame and an embarrassment to the Jewish community and America.”

The Anti-Defamation League and the National Council of Jewish Women were also among dozens of civil rights organizations to send a letter to President Donald Trump imploring him to fire Miller.

“In his role as your senior advisor, Stephen Miller has promoted hate speech spewed from neo-Nazis, bigots, and white supremacists,” the letter said. “His advancement of white nationalist ideology has resulted in policies ― and violent acts ― that actively harm immigrants, people of color, and marginalized communities.”

Reached for comment on Jewish groups’ calls for Miller to resign, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said only that “Miller is dedicated to this country and I am proud to work alongside him every single day with the goal of making our nation even greater. He is a friend and colleague, and we are lucky to have him in the White House.”

On Thursday morning, over 100 Democratic members of the House of Representatives published an open letter demanding that the president fire Miller.

“Miller’s emails and the sentiments expressed in them are incompatible with public service and render him unfit to shape any policy ― immigration or otherwise,” the letter said. “We refuse to tolerate white nationalism and xenophobia in the White House or elsewhere in the United States. Mr. Miller must be fired immediately.”