Johnny Weir, the former Olympic figure skater and current NBC color commentator, is known for his flashy outfits and willingness to speak his mind on nearly every subject. Such was the case in 2006, when he told The Washington Post that he considers himself “a little bit” Jewish — even though he was raised Roman Catholic — and that he may have been Jewish in a past life.
At a 2007 rally he headlined to support his policies, one of the speakers was singer Paul Topete, whose band Poker Face also performed. The band had previously performed at conferences of anti-Semitic organizations, and their website featured forums that pushed Holocaust denial and 9/11 conspiracy theories. After the Anti-Defamation League labeled Topete an anti-Semite, he denied the charges but claimed that questioning the Holocaust “should not be construed as hate, rather it should be a way of mandating historical accuracy.” He also claimed it was possible that Israel was behind 9/11.
Weir has been open about his childhood obsession with the Holocaust — he told the Albany Times-Union in 2011 that one of his favorite books to this day is the Shoah-themed children’s book “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit.”
A spokesman for Barletta told CNN that Barletta had a small staff at the time and was unable to properly vet every interviewer or guest speaker. The spokesman also pointed to Barletta’s 2007 denunciation of the Ku Klux Klan and his 2008 renunciation of an endorsement from former KKK leader David Duke.
17 Jewish Groups Call On White House To Fire Adviser Stephen Miller
But that obsession went one step further in his Post profile, where journalist Libby Copeland wrote that Weir “says he’s had his past lives read and found out that most recently he was a Jewish girl from Poland during World War II. ‘I mean, it makes sense if you think about it,’ he says. ‘Like, what 4-year-old gets into learning about how 6 million people were exterminated?’”
At the time, Weir wore multiple necklaces, including two Stars of David and an Israeli Defense Forces dog tag, along with an Italian evil eye charm, a pendant of the Virgin Mary and the letter “D” in honor of the Christina Aguilera song “Dirrty.”
Weir’s necklace collection has also included a Kabbalah pendant, and Weir copped to wearing a red Kabbalah string in 2005.
“A friend introduced me to Kabbalah actually before Esther [Madonna] started doing it,” Weir told Salon. “For a while I was getting a big head about how good I was becoming and what was going on with me, and it just sort of helped me stay centered and that sort of thing.”
Barletta was at the time gaining national attention for his crackdowns against illegal immigrants by fining landlords who rented to them and employers who paid them — moves that were eventually struck down by the courts.
Weir’s Jewish ties didn’t stop there. Like many figure skaters, Weir has skated to music from “Schindler’s List.”
And in 2011, he married Russian-American Jewish lawyer Viktor Voronov and expressed interest in converting to Judaism. But Weir and Voronov divorced acrimoniously in 2015, and it is unclear if a conversion ever occurred.
(JTA) – Seventeen Jewish groups, including the left-leaning J Street, called on the White House to dismiss Stephen Miller as senior policy adviser.
The organizations, including American Jewish World Service, Americans for Peace Now and T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, issued the call in an open letter they sent Thursday to the White House chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly.
The co-authors wrote that Miller, who favors an immigration reform he said would benefit applicants who would assimilate more easily into American society than others, has “extreme viewpoints and advocacy of racist policies.”
“As Jews, we are in solidarity with immigrants and refugees and believe that our nation must be a refuge and welcoming home for new Americans,” they wrote. Miller “has been an obstacle to passing widely-supported, bipartisan, popular, badly-needed immigration policy changes throughout his time in the administration.”
Miller, the authors added, was “the architect” of two executive measures limiting admission into the United States from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, as well as some Venezuelan officials. Federal judges issued separate temporary restraining orders on those measures.
Last month, Miller said his plans for a new immigration policy mean “more assimilation, higher wages, more economic opportunity and better prospects for immigrants and U.S.-born alike.”