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Republican Jewish Lawmaker Cancels Town Hall, Citing Protests

Lee Zeldin, Congress’ lone Jewish Republican, has canceled an April town hall event, after protesters disrupted a recent appearance of his at a Long Island, New York rotary club.

“This meeting was co-opted, renamed and re-branded by a group of liberal activists who were already holding strategy meetings to turn it into a disruptive show for their own political theater,” Jennifer DiSiena, a spokeswoman for the congresswoman, explained to the Southampton Press.

She further alleged that demonstrators at last week’s Rotary Club event had crossed a line by obstructing vehicular traffic and banging on people’s cars, a charge that protest organizers denied.

“Regardless of his intentions, Mr. Zeldin has an obligation to explain his lack of availability and to begin direct communication with constituents,” said the organizers of the Rotary Club event, after news of the cancellation broke.

Republican House members have been facing hostile audiences at town halls, as progressive activists adopt the tactics of the Tea Party as part of a drive to preserve Obamacare and defeat President Donald Trump’s agenda. Many congressmen have responded to the wave of protest activity by canceling events or scheduling fewer.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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