In the aftermath of Israel’s security-based decision Thursday to bar pro-BDS Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) entry into the country, their west coast Congressional colleague Ted Lieu (D-CA) was one of many Democrats who were outraged.

In fact, Lieu was so upset that he took to the Twitter machine to voice his frustrations, and later in an interview on CNN. He took particular aim at David Friedman, who is the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

Friedman’s crime was to issue a statement of support for Israel’s decision, which angered Lieu. Here’s what Friedman wrote:

In response, Lieu accused Friedman, a Jewish American, of having dual loyalties in a tweet that has since been deleted (hat tip: Aaron Bandler):

https://twitter.com/bandlersbanter/status/1162147241663987712

In the CNN interview he did later that day with Wolf Blitzer, Lieu repeated the dual loyalty charge and called twice for Ambassador Friedman to resign (emphasis mine):

LIEU: It is outrageous that the U.S. government is working against having an American go visit a relative in Israel. Ambassador Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, actually I think he should resign, because he doesn’t seem to understand that his allegiance is to America, not to a foreign power. He should be defending the rights of Americans to travel to other countries and to visit their relatives.

BLITZER: Well, elaborate on that – Ambassador Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel. When you speak about an allegiance to a foreign power, what are you suggesting?

LIEU: Ambassador Friedman issued a statement today, supporting Israel’s decision to ban two Americans from visiting Israel. That is an outrageous statement that Ambassador Friedman issued. He should be fighting to get these two Americans into Israel, one of which wants to visit her grandmother.

BLITZER: But the ambassador was basically saying what the president of the United States, his boss, was saying.

LIEU: Well, I wish President Trump would resign. I don’t think he’s going to do that, but certainly, I can call on Ambassador Friedman to resign. His allegiance, again, is to America, not to a foreign power and to the Constitution of the United States, not to the president.

Blitzer, who is the son of Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors, did not call Lieu out for his repeated use of the anti-Semitic dual loyalty trope against Friedman and instead moved on to a discussion about House Judiciary Committee subpoenas as they related to the Mueller report.

Watch the interview segment below where Lieu talked about Friedman:

While Blitzer conveniently let Lieu’s use of the anti-Semitic trope slide, Friedman did not:

Lieu had deleted his tweet by the time Friedman responded to the accusation. The Congressman played the ignorance card in a follow-up tweet, insinuating that he didn’t know before this week that playing the dual loyalty card was considered harmful to the Jewish community:

He posted a similar tweet Friday afternoon:

In an analysis of Lieu’s remarks, the DC Examiner’s Becket Adams gave him the benefit of the doubt, suggesting that the Congressman was “an idiot” but “almost certainly not anti-Semitic.” The reason given was because Lieu accused two Republican Congressmen who are not Jewish Americans of the same dual loyalty charge on Thursday:

Now for a word in the congressman’s defense: He is almost certainly not anti-Semitic. He is just an idiot.

As it turns out, Lieu tends to accuse a lot of people, not just Jewish Americans, of having dual loyalty to Israel.

Here are the tweets Lieu wrote to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), which are very similar to the one he wrote to Friedman:

 

Unfortunately for Lieu, a quick Google search proves that contrary to his insinuation that he was unaware of the significance of using the dual loyalty trope against a Jewish American, he was well aware of what it meant.

In an opinion piece he wrote in July in response to President Trump’s “go back” tweets about The Squad, here’s what Lieu said (bolded emphasis added by me):

The suspicion that immigrants are not to be trusted or are unpatriotic is not just wrong, it is un-American. And dangerous. Yet it has marred America’s past, including with the 19th-century “Yellow Peril” hysteria, the internment during World War II of more than 110,000 people who happened to be of Japanese descent and accusations against Jewish Americans of harboring dual loyalties.

Also, back in February Lieu issued a statement condemning Rep. Omar’s “all about the Benjamins” tweet, noting that it was a “deeply hurtful stereotype” to use against Jews.

Lieu was also front and center during the controversy that swirled around Omar when she once again fanned anti-Semitic flames by using the dual loyalty trope herself. Lieu voted in favor of the watered down “anti-hate” resolution that was crafted in the aftermath of Omar’s comments and which passed in the U.S. House in early March.

That resolution specifically mentioned the dual loyalty issue four times.

Lieu is not ignorant when it comes to understanding what anti-Semitism is and isn’t. He’s also not truly “sorry” for writing that tweet. He knew exactly what he was doing when he accused Friedman of allegiance to a foreign country.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. –-

 
 
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