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Ilhan Omar: Endorsement of Black-Jewish Caucus 'isn't an endorsement of Zeldin's bigotry'

The Hill logo The Hill 6/6/2019 Rebecca Klar
Ilhan Omar et al. taking a selfie: Ilhan Omar: Endorsement of Black-Jewish Caucus 'isn't an endorsement of Zeldin's bigotry' © Greg Nash Ilhan Omar: Endorsement of Black-Jewish Caucus 'isn't an endorsement of Zeldin's bigotry'

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said Thursday her endorsement of the newly formed bipartisan Congressional Black-Jewish Caucus is not an endorsement of a Republican congressman's "bigotry."

"Just to be clear, my endorsement of the caucus and willingness to unite our communities against the threats of White supremacy isn't an endorsement of Zeldin's bigotry!" Omar said.

Reps. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) announced the newly formed caucus at an AJC global forum. AJC is a global Jewish advocacy organization.

Omar's comment comes as a response to an AJC official's question to Palestinian rights activist Linda Sarsour regarding her opposition to the new caucus.

Sarsour tweeted that Zeldin is "still an anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian bigot who called Obama a racist" and "campaigns with neo-Nazis," adding "Muslim women don't always agree."

Omar didn't refute Sarsour's comments about Zeldin, but said Thursday she hopes "Zeldin can learn and grow."

The Black-Jewish Caucus aims to raise awareness of each community's sensitivities and needs, in Congress and out, according to AJC's announcement on Twitter.

Zeldin and Omar have been at odds regarding conversations about hate and anti-Semitism.

Zeldin was one of 23 Republicans to vote against a resolution hate and anti-Semitism in March, arguing the bill should have specifically identified Omar after some of her remarks were seen as anti-Semitic by some lawmakers.

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