Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Sole GOP Jew in Congress Sees No Harm From David Duke Flap

The sole Jewish Republican in the incoming Congress said revelations of a speech by the party’s House whip to a white supremacist group would not harm the party with Jews.

“This doesn’t undercut Republican progress towards reaching minorities and the Jewish community,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said in a statement to The Hill, a daily covering Congress.

Revelations that Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the majority whip in the incoming U.S. House of Representatives, spoke in 2002 to a group with ties to white Supremacist David Duke, are clouding what should be a triumph for the GOP, which gained seats in the House and seized from Democrats the Senate majority in November elections.

The GOP leadership has stood behind Scalise, who says he regrets the talk, made when he was a state legislator, and was unaware of the group’s affiliations at the time.

A priority for the Republicans heading into the 2016 elections is gaining support among minorities.

In a statement, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the House minority leader, cited a finding by the Anti-Defamation League that the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, the group Scalise had addressed, was anti-Semitic.

“Whip Scalise’s involvement with a group classified by the Anti-Defamation League as anti-Semitic and the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group is deeply troubling for a top Republican leader in the House,” she said.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.