The caucus launch was announced on Monday, attracting interest from the the Minnesota lawmaker who has faced consistent allegations of anti-Semitism beginning in 2012.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose remarks have resulted in widespread accusations of anti-Semitism since her appearance on the national stage, plans to join the newly formed congressional caucus on black-Jewish relations.
One of the caucus’ co-founders is Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), who has feuded with the congresswoman over her perceived anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks.
The Forward and Jewish Insider first reported the news of Omar’s interest in the Black-Jewish Caucus.
“Last month, [Rep. Jan Schakowsky] and I joined together to talk about the common threat of white nationalism faced by Muslim, black and Jewish-Americans. Glad to see colleagues follow through in working on the things that unite us and not divide us,” tweeted Omar on Wednesday.
Omar said on Thursday that joining the Black-Jewish Caucus doesn’t mean “an endorsement” of Zeldin’s views, and that she hopes “Zeldin can learn and grow.”
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!
Linda’s point still remains valid but my hope here is that Zeldin can learn and grow. https://t.co/2Fp6znt353
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 6, 2019
“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!” she tweeted.
Zeldin responded on Twitter: “This new Caucus is a positive, bipartisan push to build bridges between 2 groups. Be helpful, accurate & better. Unite; don’t divide or try to poison like this latest personal attack. This is bigger than us & we have to be better than this.”
The caucus launch was announced on Monday at the American Jewish Committee’s annual Global Forum in Washington, D.C.
In addition to Zeldin, its founders are Reps. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Will Hurd (R-Texas), John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
The caucus will assemble politicians from both communities and both sides of the aisle to learn from each other and advocate for joint concerns.