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US Jewish Democrats slam Stephen Miller, decry 'weaponising antisemitism'

White House had defended Miller from accusations of racism by invoking his Jewish faith
Miller is impassioned defender of Trump's most cruel immigration policies (AFP/File photo)

Jewish Democratic members of the US House of Representatives are calling for the sacking of White House adviser Stephen Miller, a Jewish-American top aide to President Donald Trump who has expressed anti-immigrant and Islamophobic views. 

In a letter sent to the president on Friday, the legislators decried "weaponising antisemitism" in response the White House's defence of Miller, which invoked the Trump adviser's faith and accused his detractors of "consistently" attacking Jewish members of the Trump administration.

"Hateful ideology is not just unacceptable, it is un-American, irrespective of the faith, race, or nationality of the individual promoting it," the letter, which was signed by 25 congresspersons, read.

The White House has faced increasing calls to terminate Miller after the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors hate groups, released a series of emails showing that Miller associated with white supremacists and promoted conspiracy theories to demonise immigrants.

'Weaponising antisemitism is incredibly dangerous - by muddying the waters, we are no longer able to see and fight against the real antisemites in our midst'

- Jewish members of Congress

Miller had sent the emails to editors of the far-right news website Breitbart between 2015 and 2016.

Some of the emails blatantly expressed Islamophobic sentiment, including an exchange where Miller said he had suggested to anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller holding a gay pride parade in a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood.

"I suggested Pamela Gellar do this to illustrate the absurdity of the Left's theory that you can't do anything which violates the tenets of fundamentalist Islam," the email reads.

Miller has emerged as an impassioned defender of some of the Trump administration's most cruel immigration policies. 

He has promoted the so-called "Muslim ban" that severely restricted entry into the United States from several Muslim-majority countries, as well as the policy to separate family members, including children and parents, seeking asylum at the southern US border.

Backlash

Following the release of the emails, dozens of House members, top senators and the Congressional Black Caucus - among other legislative groups - called for his removal. 

But the White House has stuck by Miller, defending him against the backlash.

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"I work with Stephen. I know Stephen. He loves this country and hates bigotry in all forms - and it deeply concerns me as to why so many on the left consistently attack Jewish members of this administration," Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, said in a statement last month.

Muslim-American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar had faced accusations of antisemitism earlier this year for calling Miller a "white nationalist".

"As I said earlier this year: Stephen Miller is a white nationalist. And now we have the emails to prove it," Omar wrote on Twitter 12 November after Millet's racist emails became public.

"Weaponising antisemitism is incredibly dangerous - by muddying the waters, we are no longer able to see and fight against the real antisemites in our midst," the Jewish House Democrats said in their letter to Trump on Friday.

"We will not now, or ever, accept intolerance or hate anywhere within our government, and especially not in the White House. On behalf of the American taxpayers from our districts contributing to Miller’s salary, we urge you to immediately dismiss Stephen Miller from his duties and the White House."