The president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) was abruptly cut off as he spoke at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on hate crimes after he attempted to express his consternation for the Democratic leadership’s defense of Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.
“As a child of Holocaust survivors, I was horrified to see Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and [Minority] Leader [Steny] Hoyer defend Representative Omar after her vicious anti-semitic remarks …” Morton Klein said before Chairman Jerry Nadler interrupted him and told him that time expired.
Omar’s short time in congressional office has been embroiled in allegations of anti-Semitism. She has defended her anti-Israel statements, such as ones invoking Allah to expose Israel’s “evil doings,” and she is on record stating that Israel is not a democracy. She also gave an interview to a host that referred to Israel as the “Jewish ISIS” and mocked how Americans speak about al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.
Pelosi came to the defense of Omar in March after the freshman congresswoman accused Jews of having a dual loyalty to the U.S. and Israel, an ages’ old anti-Semitic canard.
“I don’t think that the congresswoman perhaps appreciates the full weight of how it was heard by other people,” Pelosi said at the time. “Although I don’t believe it was intended in any anti-Semitic way.”
Conversely, Hoyer, who is the second ranking House Democrat, slammed Omar while addressing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), however, he quickly walked back his condemnation after receiving backlash from the progressive-wing of his party.
“Last night, I made a comment during my remarks that was, unfortunately, misinterpreted, and I want to make sure there is no ambiguity about what I said,” Hoyer said in a statement the following day. “Our Caucus has a dynamic freshman class of sixty-three new Members, all of whom are doing a great job and bringing unique perspectives and backgrounds to their work in the House.”
“That was unfair,” Klein told Nadler, who defended his decision to cut off Klein by saying that his time had expired despite giving him an additional 30 seconds to speak.
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