White supremacist David Duke, formerly the head of the Ku Klux Klan, signaled his approval of controversial Rep. Ilhan Omar (D – Minn.), calling her the “most important member” of Congress, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
Duke promoted a show on his website using a tweet that said, “By Defiance to Z.O.G. Ilhan Omar is NOW the most important Member of US Congress.” The tweet is illustrated with a photo of Omar accompanied by a heart eyes emoji.
However, the Post reported, during the actual show, Duke didn’t mention the freshman congresswoman, but he justified the killing of Jews, warned that the United States had “unleashed Jewish power,” and blasted “Jewish elite control over media.”
Last month, Duke had defended Omar when she tweeted that U.S. politicians supported Israel because they are paid by AIPAC.
Ironically, earlier this week, a critic of Omar’s comments compared them to those of the white supremacist.
“Accusing Jews of harboring dual loyalty has a long, violent, sordid history,” Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, told MPR News’ Morning Edition on Tuesday. “It’s the standard fare of [then-Ku Klux Klan leader] David Duke. It’s difficult and dangerous because it evokes the Jews as the malevolent other, conspiring against society.”
Omar has frequently been in the news over the past month for her views of American Jewry. In February, she was forced to apologize after tweeting that U.S. politicians supported Israel because Jews paid them to.
Last week, at a public forum in Washington D.C., she said that the charge of anti-Semitism was meant to shut down debate. She then said, “So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
This remark prompted Jonathan Chait of New York magazine to observe, “Accusing Jews of ‘allegiance to a foreign country’ is a historically classic way of delegitimizing their participation in the political system.”
He added, “Omar is directly invoking the hoary myth of dual loyalty, in which the Americanness of Jews is inherently suspect, and their political participation must be contingent upon proving their patriotism.”
Josh Block, President, and CEO of The Israel Project, made similar observations on PBS NewsHour on Thursday.
Omar had used “specific language that seeks to marginalize and stigmatize Jewish participation in the political process, in a way that’s very dangerous for Jews,” Block said.
[Photo: Caleb Hull / Twitter ]