Zionist Organization of America President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
ZOA urges U.S. House Minority Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to retract her defamatory,ugly and erroneous name calling of Senior Presidential Strategist Stephen Bannon. Pelosi, who formerly served as House Speaker and Majority Leader (2007-2011), is the highest ranking female Congressional leader in U.S political history. Congresswoman Pelosi thus serves as an important role model for women throughout the country. It is beneath the dignity of her office, and sets a very bad example for the nation, for her to engage in name-calling – especially when she hurls attacks that are baseless and untrue. We are thus deeply disappointed that Congresswoman Pelosi repeatedly defamed presidential advisor and National Security Council member Stephen Bannon on February 2, 2017 by wrongly and falsely calling him a “white supremacist.”
Story after story published by Breitbart News, the news site that Bannon co-founded and previously chaired, demonstrates the absurdity of labeling Mr. Bannon a “white supremacist.” A few of the many examples: Breitbart lamented the higher unemployment rates suffered by black-Americans. (See, e.g., “Black Unemployment Rate Nearly Twice the National Average On Eve Of Selma Anniversary,” by Carolyn May, Breitbart, Mar. 6, 2015.) Breitbart interviewed and published a lengthy, highly favorable report on black-American surgeon Dr. Ben Carson’s ideas and presidential candidacy. (“Exclusive: Dr. Ben Carson: ‘The Ladders of Opportunity Are There’,” by Jerome Hudson, Breitbart, Sept. 7, 2015.) Breitbart also published an Obama official’s statements and expert testimony that “illegal immigration disproportionately impacts the wages and employment opportunities of African-Americans.” (“U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner to Congressional Black Caucus: Amnesty Hurts Black Workers,” by Tony Lee, Breitbart, May 20, 2014.) Breitbart also reported the human cost and pain to a Jewish student at the New School of finding a swastika scrawled on her dorm room door (“Swastikas Drawn on NYC New School Dorm Doors,” Breitbart Jerusalem, Nov. 14, 2016), and the scourge of increasing anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses, attributable to the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement. (“Study: BDS Responsible for Spike in Anti-Semitism on U.S. Campuses,” Breitbart Jerusalem, Nov. 2, 2016.)
Mr. Bannon also hired and worked closely with persons of every race and creed at Breitbart (gay, straight, white, black, Orthodox Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc., etc.), again confirming that he is definitively not a “white supremacist.”
Congresswoman Pelosi has often spoken about the importance of improving “civility” in politics and political campaigns. In 2006, when she was about to become House Speaker, Congresswoman Pelosi promised that “civility” and “honesty” would be defining words for the new majority that she would lead. (See “Nancy Pelosi Set to Be First Female Speaker,” by Juliet Eilperin, Wash. Post, Nov. 8, 2006.) During her 2012 speech at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, Congresswoman Pelosi again discussed the importance of civility in our political discourse. (See “At Bush Library, A Plea For Civility From Nancy Pelosi,” by Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times, Feb. 2012.)
We urge Congresswoman Pelosi to restore her promise of civility and to retract the slanderous name-calling against Mr. Bannon.