On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed an anti-hate resolution in the wake of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) anti-Semitic statements.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) blasted the group of Republicans who did not vote yes on the resolution.
On Twitter Thursday evening she wrote, “Where’s the outrage over the 23 GOP members who voted NO on a resolution condemning bigotry today? Oh, there’s none? Did they get called out, raked over, ambushed in halls and relentlessly asked why not? No? Okay. Got it.”
She strongly implied that those Republicans don’t care about fighting bigotry. But then one of them, a Jewish congressman, explained why he voted no and blasted Democrats to bits in a fiery, truth-filled speech.
“Let’s all be honest with each other,” began Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) “We are all here today because of anti-Semitic rhetoric from one member [Omar] of this chamber, said again and again and again.”
“We would not be on this floor right now otherwise to discuss this topic,” he continued. “If that member was a Republican, that member’s name would be in this resolution, and this resolution would be all about condemning anti-Semitism and it would be done so forcefully.”
While the resolution mentioned anti-Semitism, it also condemned anti-Muslim speech, racism, anti-immigrant speech, and hate speech of any kind, according to the New York Times. It did not, however, mention Omar or make anti-Semitism the primary focus.
Continuing to speak about Omar, Zeldin said, “That member in January had to apologize for talking about a hypnosis of Israel that they have over the entire world. That member had to apologize in February [for] saying that if you support Israel, it must be because you’re bought off by Jews.”
“That member called it an unequivocal apology even though she filled it with equivocation,” he said. “And now we’re back again, this time by saying that if you support the U.S.-Israel relationship, that you must have pledged allegiance to a foreign government.”
“Except this time that member [Omar] is refusing to apologize.”
“Even if you gave that member every benefit of the doubt, that she had no idea what she was doing, why now wouldn’t she be apologizing? Why would she be more emboldened to refuse an apology altogether?” Zeldin continued. “I apparently am giving Rep. Omar more credit than the speaker is, because I don’t believe she is naive. I believe she knows exactly what she is doing.”
The Jewish congressman was referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who remarked on Thursday that perhaps Omar didn’t understand the “weight of her words,” according to the Times of Israel.
“It is an American value, by the way, to have reasonable, legitimate criticism of a government, whether it be the U.S. government, Israel, or any other government,” he added. “It is not an American value, though, to be hurling anti-Semitic rhetoric.
“Anti-Semitism must be condemned unequivocally and emphatically.”
Then Zeldin pointed out, “We have members of this chamber who associate with Louis Farrakhan, who says, ‘Hitler was a very great man.’ Let’s talk about a double standard.”
Farrakhan, a black supremacist, and former KKK grand wizard David Duke, a white supremacist, both praised Omar this week for her anti-Semitic remarks.
Addressing how the House condemned Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in January and kicked him off his committee for his white supremacist remarks, Zeldin remarked, “but this member [Omar] will continue to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We can’t come here and just emphatically, solely, forcefully condemn anti-Semitism and name names, but if it was a Republican, we would.”
“It’s time we called out these [Omar’s] statements for what they are: pointed, bigoted, unreasonable, illegitimate, anti-Semitic.”
Zeldin then praised the group of Democrats who did actually condemn Omar’s remarks and said “thank you to each and every one of them because support of Israel, support of Jews, standing against anti-Semitism has been bipartisan in the past, it should be bipartisan today, it should be bipartisan for every moment in the future.”
Watch his incredible 3-minute speech below: