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David Duke endorses anti-Israel candidate from Brooklyn

Ex-KKK leader and Louisiana congressman backs Charles Barron’s Democratic primary bid, citing shared hostility to ‘Zionist control’

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke speaks to supporters after his release from prison in 2004. (photo credit: Burt Steel/AP)
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke speaks to supporters after his release from prison in 2004. (photo credit: Burt Steel/AP)

A shared hostility toward Israel is apparently what it takes for an ex-Ku Klux Klan leader to endorse a black Democrat from Brooklyn.

David Duke, the former KKK Grand Wizard who served as a Republican state legislator in Louisiana, has spoken out in support of New York City politician Charles Barron, citing his opposition to Israel. “I certainly agree with Barron that Israel is the worst rogue, terrorist state on earth,” Duke says in the statement, posted Wednesday on YouTube.

“Barron is certainly right about Zionist control of our media and our government and the treason that’s existed in our Congress,” he later adds.

Duke, whose YouTube account describes the statement as a “qualified endorsement,” goes on to criticize Barron’s positions on race-related issues, but blames “Zionists” for sowing discord between white and black Americans. “The Zio-masters want constant conflict between the two groups so that they can utilize a divide-and-conquer strategy over us all,” he claims.

Barron’s campaign — part of a Democratic primary for a Congressional seat representing Brooklyn’s eighth district — has distanced itself from Duke. “”We’re staying focused — and we demand respect for our campaign,” the politician, currently a member of the city council, told the New York Daily News. “I don’t think that’s a campaign issue. I don’t think it’s intelligent.”

Barron’s opponent, Hakeem Jeffries, comes in for harsh criticism from Duke, who describes the state Assemblyman as a “complete Zionist sellout.” A spokesman for Jeffries told the Daily News, “Hate and extreme rhetoric have no place in our society. We denounce David Duke’s remarks in [their] entirety and urge the other candidate in this race to do the same.”

Brooklyn voters will choose between Barron and Jeffries on June 26.

Closer than expected, the race has focused renewed attention on Barron’s support for dictators such as Robert Mugabe and Muammar Gaddafi, as well as his attacks on Israel, including a description of Gaza as a “concentration death camp.”

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