Lee Zeldin, lone Jewish GOPer in Congress, wins spot on foreign affairs panel


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Newly elected Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, the only Jewish Republican in the Congress, won a coveted spot on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

Freshman appointments to the Foreign Affairs Committee are rare. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) included Zeldin among the 25 members he named to the committee last week.

The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), has yet to announce the Democrats who will serve on the committee in the incoming Congress.

Among the 20 Democrats on the current Foreign Affairs Committee, eight are Jewish, including Engel. One Jewish member, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), was not reelected.

Zeldin, 34 and an Iraq War veteran, also was named this week as co-chairman of the House Republican Israel Caucus.

Zeldin, who defeated incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop in a Long Island district in November, replaces Eric Cantor of Virginia as the only Jewish Republican. Cantor, the former House majority leader, lost in a primary in June.

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