Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism after Democrats invited anti-Israel Imam Omar Suleiman to deliver the invocation at the opening of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
Suleiman, who gave the invocation on the occasion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, was invited by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). He delivered the invocation as Pelosi looked on, stressing themes of peace and unity.
Despite the ecumenical spirit of Suleiman's prayer, the Jerusalem Post noted that Suleiman is "known for his Israel-bashing antics." It provided an extensive list of examples:
As the 2014 Gaza War broke out, Suleiman said on social media: "How befitting that the 3rd Intifada starts on the 27th night of Ramadan as worshippers are denied prayer in Masjid Al Aqsa." He ended his post with a prayer of sorts: "God willing on this blessed night as the 3rd Intifada begins, the beginning of the end of Zionism is here. May Allah help us overcome this monster, protect the innocent of the world, and accept the murdered as martyrs. ameen."
Also in 2014, Suleiman also made a comment on social media alluding to the antisemitic idea that Israel controls American foreign policy, claiming that it is the "51st state."
In 2017, he also addressed a rally protesting the US Embassy move to Jerusalem was organized by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a group which seeks "to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel."
He denied the Jewish claim to Jerusalem while speaking at the event.
"Your recognition means nothing to us," he said. "Your maps mean nothing to us, your embassy is as illegitimate as the occupation it seeks to legitimize. Our land is our land, our dignity is our dignity.
Read the full Jerusalem Post article here.
Rep. Lee Zeldin placed the blame for inviting Suleiman squarely at Pelosi's feet:
Totally unacceptable that @SpeakerPelosi had Omar Suleiman give the opening prayer yesterday in the House. He compares Israel to the Nazis & calls them terrorists, supports Muslim Brotherhood, incites violence calling for a Palestinian antifada & the end of zionism, etc. Bad call
Earlier this year, Pelosi defended members of her caucus who have been accused of antisemitism, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), whom Pelosi has refused to remove from the House Foreign Affairs Committee despite a series of antisemitic and anti-Israel comments.