Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., suggested his new congressional black-Jewish caucus could rise above the type of "personal attack" lodged by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., on Thursday when she accused him of "bigotry."
"This new Caucus is a positive, bipartisan push to build bridges between 2 groups," he tweeted. "Be helpful, accurate & better. Unite; don’t divide or try to poison like this latest personal attack. This is bigger than us & we have to be better than this."
HIs tweet came in response to Omar clarifying that while she supported his new caucus, she didn't support his "bigotry." "Just to be clear, my endorsement of the caucus and willingness to unite our communities against the threats of White supremacy isn’t an endorsement of Zeldin’s bigotry!" she exclaimed.
She added to controversial political activist Linda Sarsour's condemnation of Zeldin.
"Muslim women don't always agree," she said, referring to Omar's original endorsement of the caucus. Zeldin, announcing the caucus, portrayed it as a way for black and Jewish communities to join forces against bigotry and hate.
“For generations, the Jewish and African-American communities have stood together," Zeldin said in a press release, "helping each other overcome their greatest challenges and triumph in the face of sweeping discrimination, all while securing a brighter future for all of our children."
"However our work is not yet finished. It is clear our communities are still the target of hate and discrimination, and we will not stand idly by," he added.
The new caucus followed multiple shootings at American synagogues as well as concern over remarks made by both Sarsour and Omar. The American Jewish Congress specifically called for a bipartisan group of Jewish lawmakers to form after Omar suggested that Israel had bought support from the U.S.
"If you don’t identify and crush this rhetoric, these policies we’re hearing about, it’s only going to grow to be more and more of headache for them politically," he said. "But more importantly, it becomes more and more of a problem for our country as you see anti-Semitism continue to rise and this anti-Israel hate should not be welcome.”