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Bend the Arc: Jewish Action released the following statement on Monday in response to Rep. Matt Gaetz and other Congressional Republicans promoting the antisemitic “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory:

“Matt Gaetz’s long-standing amplification of the antisemitic “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory is designed to cynically stoke fear and division for political gain,” said Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Washington Director of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “Millions of Americans rose up in record numbers last November to vote for a country where we all belong, and where we all are safe, no matter our color, background, or zipcode. To undermine the progress we’ve fought for, Rep. Gaetz and Republican leaders are returning to dangerous conspiracies that put us all at risk. As Jews, we know how dangerous this is: when politicians target Jewish people and blame us for hard times, it leads directly to violence against us.”

“In October 2018, Rep. Matt Gaetz posted a video promoting the same bogus conspiracies – rhetoric which led to the deadliest massacre of Jewish Americans in history just 10 days later at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Three years later, not only has Gaetz faced no repercussions from his party for helping to stoke antisemitic conspiracy theories that directly led to the massacre of Jewish Americans, other members of his party are continuing to spread this dangerous lie, including House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik. Jewish Americans across the nation are rising up to build a country that is truly for all of us, and that includes holding people like Matt Gaetz accountable for using antisemitism and bigotry to fuel division and hatred.”

Proponents of the white nationalist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory claim that advocates for multiracial democracy secretly intend to systematically replace white people in the United States by welcoming people of color from other countries. Unfortunately, Gaetz has a long history of using his office to promote white nationalism and antisemitism:

  • In January 2018, Gaetz invited a Holocaust denier to Trump’s State of the Union address.
  • In October 2018, Gaetz shared a viral video on Twitter promoting an antisemitic conspiracy theory about George Soros bringing immigrants into the United States, which was amplified by President Trump and other Republican leaders. Just 10 days later, that same conspiracy theory inspired the Tree of Life shooter to commit the deadliest massacre of Jewish people in U.S. history.
  • In April 2019, Gaetz hired Darren Beattie as a congressional staffer, after Beattie was fired by the White House for his ties to white nationalists.
  • In 2020, Gaetz endorsed two congressional candidates – Marjorie Taylor Greene and Laura Loomer – who promote antisemitic conspiracy theories and believe Muslim people shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office.

Bend the Arc is where progressive American Jews join together to fight for justice and equality for all. We are the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on progressive social change in the United States. www.bendthearc.us