Republican's campaign accused of racism for referring to Palestinian opponent as a 'national security threat'

California Democrats slammed Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterHouse ethics panel renews probes into three GOP lawmakers GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter accused of violating 'parole' after pretending to cross US-Mexico border Challenger outraises embattled California rep ahead of 2020 rematch MORE (R-Calif.) after he called his 2020 challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Christian of Mexican and Palestinian descent, a “national security threat.”

Reps. Mike Levin (D-Calif.) and Susan DavisSusan Carol DavisSinema, Gallagher fastest lawmakers in charity race Republican's campaign accused of racism for referring to Palestinian opponent as a 'national security threat' Overnight Defense: Gillibrand offers bill to let transgender troops serve | Pentagon ready to protect US personnel in Venezuela | Dems revive fight with Trump over Saudis MORE (D-Calif.) told Roll Call that Hunter should stop relying on such attacks to undercut Campa-Najjar, who also ran against Hunter in 2018. 

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“Both Campa-Najjar and Hunter were born in San Diego, and I believe that Hunter’s racist line of attack against a fellow American is beneath the office he holds,” said Levin. 

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and someone who endorsed Ammar, I condemn these baseless attacks against him,” Davis added. “These kinds of attacks based on bigotry and fear have no place in any campaign.”

Hunter sent out a fundraising email earlier this week that accused Campa-Najjar of being boosted by “supporters” of the PLO, according to Politico

The California Republican highlighted Campa-Najjar’s background in the 2018 race in an attempt to connect him to terrorism.

“Ammar Campa-Najjar is working to infiltrate Congress … His grandfather masterminded the Munich Olympic massacre. His father said they ‘all deserve to die,’ ” a campaign ad said.

Campa-Najjar has distanced himself from his grandfather’s participation in the terrorist attack that killed 11 Israeli Olympic athletes.

“As an American citizen living in the 21st century, I will never be able to understand or condone the actions and motivations of my grandfather,” he told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last year

“He knows I served in the White House and the administration, meaning I was given a security clearance by the Secret Service after a thorough background check. He knows I'm not responsible for my family's actions, just like his wife isn't responsible for his.” Campa-Najjar said in a statement to The Hill about the ad.

Hunter defeated Campa-Najjar by less than 4 points last year despite being indicted on dozens of federal charges over allegedly spending campaign funds for personal purposes.