Why Is Congressman Lee Zeldin The Target of Attacks?

Lee Zeldin is the ranking Jewish Republican Congressman who represents District 1 of NY in the U.S. House of Representatives. Zeldin is also the co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus. Zeldin was one of the first to openly oppose the Iran Nuclear Deal and an ardent supporter of Israel. He is a member of the Jewish War Veterans and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), and has been recognized by many Zionist and Jewish organizations for his leadership in New York and Washington on behalf of Jewish issues internationally. Zeldin was an early supporter of now President Donald J. Trump and supports David Friedman, Trump’s choice for Ambassador to Israel.

Why is Lee Zeldin under attack?

Since I have known him, Congressman Zeldin has been approachable and a good listener. He also reaches across the bench: he’s a member of the Bipartisan Working Group and the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic.

Zeldin is also not afraid to speak out. He appears regularly in the media and on talk shows that are known not to favor Republican issues.

Since January , some constituents have complained that Zeldin is “not being reachable” and “not addressing issues.”

Recently, Congressman Zeldin held mobile office hours at the Hagerman Fire Department in East Patchogue, where hundreds of people gathered to meet the congressman and share their concerns, including many from outside of his district. Constituents were asked to fill out forms indicating the topics they wanted to address, which included health care, tax reform, immigration, education, voting rights and the environment. Residents were grouped according to their area of primary concern and then waited until their group was called in to meet with Mr. Zeldin in small groups.

What seemed amazing to some Zeldin supporters, including myself, was the overwhelming turnout of young and old, veterans and law enforcement members, women and men, and minorities from many groups. Those who came in opposition wore what appeared to be handmade pink caps. Most appeared over sixty and many were men. Many kept screaming, “Make this a Town Hall,” despite being well-aware of the mobile office agenda and setup.

Zeldin has held several similar mobile office events since 2015, including ones in Riverhead and Southold. His chief of staff, Eric Amidon, noted that Friday’s event had a large turnout.

“Some people come not so much wanting to meet with the congressman,” he said. “They just want their issue solved.”

Judy Pepinella, a constituent and founding board member of the Conservative Society for Action, stated, “I support Lee Zeldin on most issues, and when I don’t both he and his staff are always there to address the issue and discuss it, something many other politicians don’t do.” Pepinella supports Zeldin’s work as a Zionist, as does the organization she represents.

“I’m absolutely offended by the democrat operatives that have orchestrated these false attacks upon Lee’s character, added John Jay LaValle, Chairman of the Suffolk County Republican Committee. “Their actions are pathetic and a disservice to our community and country. This is nothing more than the ‘participation trophy’ party being unwilling to lose gracefully and respect our democratic process. I couldn’t be prouder of the work that our Congressman Lee Zeldin has done for Suffolk County and an overwhelming majority of the voters agreed.”

So why is Congressman Lee Zeldin under attack? Could it be because it represents the future of the Republican Party with aspirations to a higher office?

This story "Why Is Congressman Lee Zeldin The Target of Attacks?" was written by Cindy Grosz.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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Why Is Congressman Lee Zeldin The Target of Attacks?

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