GOP lawmaker slams Pelosi after imam critical of Israel delivers House invocation

GOP lawmaker slams Pelosi after imam critical of Israel delivers House invocation
© Greg Nash

A GOP congressman is accusing Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiYellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' Freedom Caucus presses McCarthy to force vote to oust Pelosi The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Tokyo Olympics kick off with 2020-style opening ceremony MORE (D-Calif.) of failing to properly vet a Muslim imam who delivered the House invocation before business on Wednesday.

Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinSunday shows preview: Biden defends troop withdrawal in Afghanistan; COVID-19 impacting unvaccinated pockets Misled condemnation of the Lebanese Armed Forces will help Hezbollah New York GOP backs Zeldin for governor MORE (R-N.Y.) told AM 970's "The Answer" that Pelosi should have blocked Imam Omar Suleiman from speaking before the House, citing his past support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement which urges private entities and governments to cease doing business with Israel over its government's treatment of Palestinian citizens.

“On Thursday the noon prayer was given by an Imam from Texas who has a long history of, not just supporting BDS, but comparing Israel to the Nazis," Zeldin charged.

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"Accusing Israel of being a terror regime. Calling for a Palestinian Intifada… and inciting violence [and] supporting the Muslim brotherhood … I think it is outrageous that Speaker Pelosi… chose that radical Imam to be speaking before Congress," Zeldin continued.

“I was caught off guard by it quite honestly. There was no announcement it was going to happen. The Speaker either… failed to vet the Imam, or, worse, they did vet the Imam and thought it was a good idea to bring him anyway," he said. "A bad call either way."

Pelosi's office did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on Zeldin's criticism. In Facebook and other social media postings, Suleiman has compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to South African apartheid and other tyrannical regimes, while decrying Israeli military strikes on supposed terrorist groups in Gaza and the West Bank as "massacres."

Israel's government has been roundly criticized by progressives including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week MORE (I-Vt.) in recent years for military action against Palestinian protesters as well as the country's response to terrorist attacks committed by pro-Palestinian groups. Republicans and some Democrats have defended Israel's government from such criticism.

Republicans including President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE have honed in on that criticism in recent months, decrying it as anti-Semitic and demanding Democratic leadership hold members of Congress such as Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOvernight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week Omar reflects on personal experiences with hate in making case for new envoy MORE (D-Minn.) accountable for remarks criticizing Israel and pro-Israel lobbying efforts in the U.S.