The former leader of the Ku Klux Klan praised Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) following the latter’s latest anti-semitic comments.
As a slew of Jews and Jewish supporters condemned Omar, David Duke stepped into the fray to call Omar “the most important member of Congress.”
She’s earned the moniker because of her “defiance to Z.O.G.,” he wrote on Twitter on March 7.
The acronym refers to the phrase “Zionist-occupied government.”
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 7, 2019
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the acronym “reflects the common white supremacist belief that the U.S. government is controlled by Jews.”
Duke said in a promotion for his latest podcast that he and another man on the podcast “heaped praise on Ilhan Omar (D-New Somalia) for being the one person in Congress willing to notice AIPAC and the ‘dual’ loyalty of many (((members of Congresss))) [sic].”
He included a picture of Omar, who was born in Somalia before fleeing the country for the United States, and who is a Muslim and self-described “intersectional feminist,” next to an emoji showing someone in love with someone else.
It’s not the first time Duke has pledged support for Omar.
I have not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel, I have questioned it and that has been clear from my end.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 3, 2019
In February, after Omar theorized that lawmakers support Israel because they are being paid to do so, he wondered: “It is ‘Anti-Semitism’ to point out that the most powerful political moneybags in American politics are Zionists who put another nation’s interest (Israel’s) over that of America?”
Omar has not disavowed the former KKK leader.
Duke’s heightened support came as Democrats struggled to unify to condemn the recent comments by Omar, one of the new radical fringe seemingly overtaking the party, along with fellow popular radicals Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
The latest uproar started when Omar said: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Omar was known for anti-Semitic language after tweeting years ago “Israel has hypnotized the world” and lashing out at those who criticized her for her loaded language and reversing her stance on the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement. This year, she finally admitted that, after speaking with Jewish organizations: “that my use of the word ‘Hypnotize’ and the ugly sentiment it holds was offensive.”
“I believe strongly in the state of Israel. I don’t feel beholden one bit to a foreign power.”
“There is a long anti Semitic tradition associated with that kind of comment.”
— Brigid Bergin (@brigidbergin) March 7, 2019
Just weeks later, Omar took to Twitter to insinuate that the Jewish group AIPAC was behind a scheme to exchange funding for politicians in return for supporting Israel. After fierce criticism, she apologized but also suggested she was being criticized for speaking her mind.
Just weeks after that ruckus she laid out the “dual loyalty” smear that has Jewish supporters on both sides of the political aisle up in arms, with staunch Democrats like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joining the chorus of critics.
Democratic leader and Majority House Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested on Thursday that Omar didn’t understand the full weight of her rhetoric while confirming that the language was anti-semitic.
“I don’t think that the congresswoman perhaps appreciates the full weight of how it was heard by other people, although I don’t believe it was intended in an anti-Semitic way,” she told reporters.
Speaker Pelosi on Rep. Omar’s comments:
“I don’t think that the congresswoman perhaps appreciates the full weight of how it was heard by other people, although I don’t believe it was intended in an anti-Semitic way.” https://t.co/Pe0RSwO0uL pic.twitter.com/AC7S1zbzBf
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) March 7, 2019
Haggling over the resolution’s language, the vote was pushed back days as Ocasio-Cortez and others reportedly defended Omar and accused her critics of being fueled by Islamophobia without citing evidence.
In the latest version, the resolution (pdf) stated: “Accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to the Jewish community than to the United States constitutes anti-Semitism because it suggests that Jewish citizens cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors, when Jews have loyally served our Nation every day since its founding, whether in public or community life or military service.”
“Jewish people are subject in the media and political campaigns to numerous other dangerous anti-Semitic myths as well, including that Jews control the United States government or seek global, political, and financial domination and that Jews are obsessed with money,” the authors stated.
Seeking to calm anger from Omar’s camp, new language was also included condemning “anti-Muslim bigotry” and a portion detailing anti-Muslim actions in the United States that ended up being about as long as the part about anti-Semitism.