By Joel B. Pollak
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) deleted a tweet Thursday in which he accused U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman of dual loyalty — the same antisemitic theme used in the past by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
The Israeli government denied Omar and Tlaib entry into the country, based on their support for boycotting Israel. Omar said earlier this year that Americans who support Israel owe “allegiance to a foreign country,” and Tlaib said that U.S. Senators who support Israel “forgot what country they represent.” Both statements were condemned at the time as antisemitic, as they evoke the slur of “dual loyalty” that has often been used as a pretext to persecute Jews.
Lieu had tweeted: “Dear @USAmbIsrael: You are an American. Your allegiance should be to America, not to a foreign power. You should be defending the right of Americans to travel to other countries. If you don’t understand that, then you need to resign.” He madethe same accusation on CNN as he was interviewed by anchor Wolf Blitzer. “He doesn’t seem to understand that his allegiance is to America, not to a foreign power,” Lieu told Blitzer, saying that Friedman should have been fighting for Omar and Tlaib to have the right to enter Israel, despite Israeli law.
On Thursday evening, Lieu deleted his tweet, and tweeted: “It has been brought to my attention that my prior tweet to @USAmbIsrael raises dual loyalty allegations that have historically caused harm to the Jewish community. That is a legitimate concern. I am therefore deleting the tweet.” He did not apologize, however.
In addition, Lieu left up several tweets making the same accusation against several Republican legislators (and using the “dual loyalty” slur in praising Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) for criticizing Israel’s decision).
Lieu represents California’s 33rd congressional district, which has a sizable Jewish population.