Ilhan Omar joins bipartisan Black-Jewish congressional caucus to 'combat white supremacy'

Ilhan Omar joins bipartisan Black-Jewish congressional caucus to 'combat white supremacy'
Ilhan Omar is among the lawmakers joining a new black-Jewish congressional caucus - joining a Republican congressman who has accused her of anti-semitism.
2 min read
09 June, 2019
Democrat Ilhan Omar entered headlines when she was accused of anti-semitism earlier this year [Getty]
Ilhan Omar, a Muslim-American Minnesota Democrat, will join a new bipartisan Black-Jewish congressional caucus to combat "white supremacist" ideology.

Jeremy Slevin, spokesman for the representative, confirmed the news to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency this week.

The caucus was launched by three lack and two Jewish members of the US House of Representatives on Monday. It is a bipartisan initiative bringing together representatives from both the Republican and Democratic party to "back hate crimes legislation and combat white supremacist ideology and actions".

Omar expressed support for the caucus in a Wednesday tweet but later expressed this does not mean she endorsed the "bigotry" of one of its members, Lee Zeldin, with whom she has clashed on Twitter.

Zeldin, a Jewish Republican, has accused Omar of anti-semitism, tweeting: "Your anti-Semitic & anti-Israel hate is strong & wrong & those terrorists have US blood on their hands as well."

Omar has retweeted those who describe Zeldin as islamophobic.

In response to Omar's comment, Zeldin accused Omar of "poisoning" the caucus initiative.

The American Jewish Committee told JTA it hoped being part of the caucus "will sensitize Rep. Omar to the importance, history and achievements of Black-Jewish relations in our country".

The Somali-American congresswoman has faced extreme pressure after criticising the influence of the Israel in US politics and said she has even faced death threats when President Donald Trump tweeted out a video of her spliced with footage of the 9/11 attacks.

Omar made headlines earlier this year after she tweeted about the influence of pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, that some felt echoed an anti-Semitic trope that Jewish influence in politics is money-related.

One of the first Muslim women to enter congress, she also sparked uproar at a Washington event in March when she again criticized the "powerful" pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, and US lawmakers who fiercely support the Jewish state.

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