Congress

Ilhan Omar to join Black-Jewish Caucus

Lorie Shaull

State Representative, Ilhan Omar speaking at a Hillary for MN event at the U of MN October 4, 2016

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) will join the newly formed bipartisan, Congressional Black-Jewish Caucus, her spokesman Jeremy Slevin confirmed to Jewish Insider on Thursday.

The caucus was first announced this week by Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) with House Jewish members Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

Other founding co-chairs include Reps. John Lewis (D-GA), Will Hurd (R-TX) and Chair of the Democratic Caucus Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Rep. Omar earlier offered her support for the cause, posting on Twitter, “Last month [Rep. Jan Schakwosky (D-IL)] and I joined together to talk about the common threat of white nationalism faced by the Muslim, Black and Jewish-Americans. Glad to see colleagues follow through on working on things that unite us and not divide us,” while sharing a tweet from Rep. Wasserman Schultz announcing the caucus.

Yet Rep. Omar, who has frequently clashed with Rep. Zeldin, later tweeted support for statements by Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, who called Rep. Zeldin “anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian bigot.”

“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!” Rep. Omar posted on Twitter. “Linda’s point still remains valid but my hope here is that Zeldin can learn and grow.”