Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) spent his first week of work since the government was reopened when he harassed a Muslim colleague on Twitter, with groundless suggestions that she hates Jewish people.
It began on Tuesday when he found out that he had been elected a ranked member of the Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Commons for Supervision and Investigations. Exciting! However, he did not really enjoy the honor of being the second largest member of a parliamentary subcommittee, as he also learned that he had to work alongside the new member Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) On the jury.
"Crazy to see what House Dems empowers," Zeldin tweeted.
Omar responded dismissively to his tweet and Zeldin Dug in. "Their anti-Semitic & anti-Israeli hatred is strong and false," wrote he on Twitter late Wednesday . The next day, he tweeted an audio recording of a voicemail in which a randomly unidentified caller said, "I wish Hitler had done his damn job." Zeldin, who is a Jew, tagged her in the post office and asked if she would not Post match would call the caller.
Omar tells him that she, too, receives hateful phone calls and voice messages. She invited to share notes about how religious discrimination can be combated – "Maybe with Somali tea in your old office that I'm in."
He responded by asking to co-sponsor a resolution from him calling them along with the white supreme-pacemaker leader Richard Spencer and the alleged Pittsburgh synagogue Robert Bowers as examples of anti-Semitic hatred ,
Zeldin did not state in his tweet why he was so upset when the Democrats assigned Omar to the subcommittee. He also did not say why he felt – and none of the other hundred members of the congress – should burden the anti-Semitic voicemail sent to his office. But there are a few things about the progressive congresswoman that distinguishes her from other members of the legislature.
Omar lived as a child in a refugee camp and in November became the first Somali-American to be elected to Congress. She and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress . Following his swearing-in, Omar  successfully pushed for a 181-year ban to wear headgear on the floor of the house and allowed her to go to work with a hijab.
Zeldin's Twitter song was a classic racist dog whistle. It was a wink and a nod to all his friends who hate seeing a colored woman with a hijab in a position of power. But it was written with the proper lack of specificity that he could claim ignorance when faced with the nasty implications of his message.
When asked what he meant by his first tweet, Zeldin denied that it had anything to do with Omar's religion or gender. "Congressman Zeldin is referring to the strengthening / improvement of Pro-BDS, anti-Israel, pro-Maduro, etc., including a plea for indulgence for ISIS fighters," spokeswoman Katie Vincentz wrote in an e-mail in which she referred to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and the socialist Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Zeldin tagged Omar in the tweet with the anti-Semitic voicemail because he wanted to know "if his pro-BDS anti-Israel colleague disagrees," Vincentz continued.
Zeldin's claim about Omar's political stance is groundless. It praised the boycott movement, but also asked whether it is an effective way to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. It opposes legislation that would criminalize the constitutionally protected action of participating in a boycott . The support of the BDS movement is not synonymous with anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli. She opposed a " US-backed coup in Venezuela ," but did not support Maduro, and the claim that she campaigned for the indulgence of ISIS fighters – a narrative written by right-wing conspiracy theorist Jacob Wohl  – based on a letter she proposed to a judge in 2016 – rehabilitation instead of long prison sentences for a group of radicalized young men who were convicted for attempting to join the IS
Since the invasion of the political struggle, Omar's opponents have been looking for any opportunity to portray the foreign-born Muslim legislator as a threat to Jewish Americans, and in the last two weeks the National has sent Republican Congressional Committee issued at least eight e-mails in which it was accused, Bigotter u to be anti-Semitic. In all that, she patiently repeated her positions and remained open to criticism in good faith.
Last month, for example, she recalibrated her defense of a tweet during the 2012 Gaza War, in which she wrote : "Israel has mesmerized the world, may Allah awaken people and help them see this evil deeds of Israel. "In response to a New York Times column about her tweet and the story of anti-Semitic portrayals of Jews as fraudulent manipulators she defended her criticisms of the Israeli military, but said she regretted it. 19659040] unintentional calling of the Tropes .
However, Zeldin has shown no such willingness to develop.
In 2015, he met with the Long Island Oath Keepers a New York chapter of a far-right anti-government militia movement. He was a guest on a radio show hosted by Frank Gaffney, an Islamophobic conspiracy theorist who also had white nationalist Jared Taylor in his show . Gaffney is best known for suggesting that former President Barack Obama is Muslim. He accuses opponents of submitting to sharia and protests that Muslim members of the congress serve the house's intelligence committee because they could pass on information to the Muslim Brotherhood. 19659017]. Last year, Zeldin held a fundraiser with Sebastian Gorka, a former White House adviser who was photographed and wore a medal that indicated his membership in the Vitezi Rend a Hungarian group affiliated with the Nazis II.