Consultant Anna Paulina Luna, a Florida Republican, confronted criticism on-line Friday after a report revealed that she was not raised Jewish, in keeping with a few of her members of the family, regardless of beforehand claiming Jewish heritage.
This previous November, Luna, who identifies as Christian, informed Jewish Insider days earlier than the midterm elections that she was “raised as a Messianic Jew” by her father. Messianic Jews consider that Jesus is the Messiah.
On the time, she was defending Consultant Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, over previous feedback that some seen as antisemitic.
“I’m additionally a small fraction [of] Ashkenazi. If she [Greene] had been antisemitic, why did she endorse me?” Luna requested the publication.
The main points in a Friday report by The Washington Put up contradicted Luna’s earlier claims of Jewish heritage. Luna’s mom, Monica Luna, mentioned that the Republican’s father George Mayerhofer—who Luna and different members of the family mentioned was a drug addict—was a Christian who embraced the Messianic religion.
“He ultimately acquired clear and began attending a messianic Jewish church in Orange County. He introduced Anna to companies and she or he buried him to Jewish customs,” Monica Luna mentioned, in keeping with the Put up.
Nonetheless, Luna’s father was Catholic, in keeping with three members of Luna’s prolonged household who mentioned that they weren’t conscious of him practising any type of Judaism whereas the Florida congresswoman was rising up.
However, Luna’s spokesperson Edie Heipel informed Newsweek on Saturday that the members of the family that the Put up cited are the congresswoman’s “estranged members of the family.”
“The sources WAPO used made weird claims and we discover it ironic that is one among their sources. We do not take something they are saying critically and Rep. Luna would not affiliate with them as they’re estranged members of the family – Rep. Luna’s mom has additionally confirmed this,” Luna’s spokesperson mentioned.
Mayerhofer’s father, Heinrich Mayerhofer, recognized as a Roman Catholic. He immigrated from Germany to Canada in 1954, in keeping with information seen by the newspaper.
“Anna Paulina Luna is a fraud. The media will not must dig deep. Subsequent, look into the claimed hit on her life by REPUBLICAN main opponents. She could also be worse than [New York Republican Representative George] Santos,” mentioned gun management activist Fred Guttenberg on Friday.
Moreover, the report by the Put up additional revealed that Luna reportedly had Nazi roots, with a number of members of the family saying that Heinrich Mayerhofer, who died in 2003, served within the armed forces of Nazi Germany when he was a teen within the Nineteen Forties.
Luna’s uncle, Edward Mayerhofer, gave the newspaper what he mentioned was an image of his father Heinrich wearing a uniform as a younger soldier in Germany. The photograph was reviewed by specialists on the Simon Wiesenthal Middle who confirmed that Heinrich’s uniform matched that of a member of the Wehrmacht, the navy of Nazi Germany.
“I will be sincere, even I did not have ‘grandkid of an precise Nazi’ on my Home GOP bingo card for 2023,” MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan mentioned of the main points within the Put up‘s report.
In the meantime, human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid mentioned, “Republicans eliminated Rep Ilhan Omar from committee as a consequence of ‘antisemitism.’ In the meantime, now two GOP reps have claimed they had been Jewish, when in actuality they weren’t, and on this case Luna is actually a Nazi’s granddaughter — and whole acceptance from GOP.”
“Republican Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna claimed to have Jewish roots, showing to lie about her father’s faith. It seems her grandfather Heinrich Mayerhofer truly served within the German Nazi military throughout World Warfare II,” wrote political podcast host Brian Tyler Cohen.
Luna’s spokesperson additionally informed Newsweek that “it is rather unlucky that they are attempting to make that connection, however the actuality is Rep. Luna is a robust supporter of Israel, and no matter connection they’re attempting to make is irrelevant.”
The congresswoman’s spokesperson added that Luna’s two maternal great-grandfathers “fought in WWII for the Individuals,” and shared an image of one among them in uniform in addition to a duplicate of an article by the Arizona Day by day Star that dated again to 1952 that reported on Luna’s great-grandfather’s historical past.
Heipel mentioned that one among Luna’s great-grandfathers, William Todd, was enlisted within the Arizona Nationwide Guard to serve with the Bushmasters in New Guinea and the Trobriand Islands between 1943 and 1948.
Nonetheless, some Twitter customers continued to criticize Luna and in contrast her claims to that of Consultant George Santos, a New York Republican.
“Transfer over, george! there’s one other pretend republican jew in congress—and this one has precise nazi ties. Meet rep. anna paulina luna of florida,” MSNBC author Marisa Kabas mentioned.
In December, Santos informed the New York Put up that he lied about a number of facets in his previous akin to his faculty diploma and his spiritual affiliations. Santos has since confronted calls to resign.
“I am embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume,” Santos mentioned. “I by no means claimed to be Jewish….I’m Catholic. As a result of I realized my maternal household had a Jewish background I mentioned I used to be ‘Jew-ish.'”
Replace 2/11/2023, 3:13 p.m. ET: This text has been up to date to incorporate feedback from Consultant Luna’s spokesperson.