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Hate Groups Scooped the Times on Jewish Pres Story

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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You may have been surprised to read that Thomas Jefferson had Jewish (or Jewish-looking) genes. But can you guess who wasn't so surprised? Rabid anti-Semites!

For the Hebrew-hating proprietors of sites like, a president who secretly davens would be the ultimate proof of an all-powerful Jewish world conspiracy. Besides Jefferson, other rumored members of the tribe include Abraham Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson. (Just imagine how their bubbes would kvell!)

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Among the specific (if dubious) claims advanced on far-right sites:

• Lincoln was the product of an illicit affair between his mother, Nancy Hanks, and a man named Springstein, who was distantly related to the Rothschilds. And his great-grandfather was named Mordecai.

• Woodrow Wilson was a Sephardic Jew whose parents, the Wohlsons, changed their name when they arrived in America.

• The Roosevelts' ancestry traces them back to the Rossocampo family, who were expelled from Spain in 1620 and then changed their names when they sought safety in other countries.

Too bad for George Allen he most likely won't be running for president—it sounds like he finally found his base.


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