Jewish activists target Zeldin

Newsday
October 10, 2017
Lane Filler

Rep. Lee Zeldin is increasingly being attacked for his political views through the lens of his Judaism.

Monday, various liberal groups from the broad-based Make the Road New York to the far more focused Let’s Go Visit Lee Zeldin participated in a rally outside his congressional office in Patchogue. They demanded that Zeldin, “Choose a side: with or against white supremacy.” They asserted that Zeldin’s willingness to align with President Donald Trump’s agenda is a tacit acceptance of white supremacy.

Many of the activists also have been spreading an editorial from the Forward, a Jewish publication and website, that accosts Zeldin, one of two Jewish GOP House members, for taking campaign money from the National Rifle Association.

The activists demand that Zeldin vote to censure Trump for his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and that Trump fire White House adviser Stephen Miller. They also want Zeldin to vote to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.

Then, on a far different topic, the rally’s organizing group, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, demanded that Zeldin support and help pass a “clean Dream Act, with no attached funding for a senseless border wall or out-of-control immigration enforcement, to protect DACA beneficiaries immediately.”

Jews aren’t as united in their political views as these demands seem to imply. According to exit polling from the Pew Research Center, Trump got 24 percent of the Jewish vote nationally. It’s also worth noting that, according to data from the Jewish Federations of North America, the population of Zeldin’s district is only 4.6 percent Jewish.