Jewish Democrats to Pelosi: Denounce Rep. Ilhan Omar over 'anti-Semitic' tweets

12 February, 2019, 03:26 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Omar Ilhan in anti-Semitism row for saying AIPAC money behind Republican support for Israel

Freshmen Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) garnered considerable criticism from Democrats and Republicans over the weekend for comments she made regarding the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) deemed by many as anti-Semitic. "And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith", Omar wrote.

"We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologise for these hurtful comments".

On Sunday, Omar claimed the reason GOP leaders lashed out at anti-Israel comments was because of money, saying "its all about the Benjamins".

She referenced that criticism again after her apology Monday: "I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIRPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry". And while her remarks about AIPAC don't necessarily show she's anti-Semitic - some of AIPAC's best friends have good reason to exaggerate its importance as well - she is playing into stereotypes that aid Republican efforts to suggest that any criticism of Bibi Netanyahu's policies exist on a slippery slope that leads to passing around copies of Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Recently elected Representative Ilhan Omar is facing backlash for promoting an anti-Semitic message and criticizing lawmakers for supporting Israel.

Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Elaine Luria called on House leadership to speak out against Omar's comments in a letter.

"We call on the House leadership to take immediate action, so that the message is clear: anti-Semitism will not be tolerated", said Jonathan Greenblatt, the league's national director.

Omar is one of a handful of high-profile freshmen Democratic women, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY and Rashida Tlaib of MI, who often use social media to speak to their followers and lash out at criticism.

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Omar has been critical of Israel's government over its treatment of Palestinians.

Omar, the first female Muslim Congresswoman, said in an infamous missive posted several years ago' "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel".

Republicans pounced on her comments and called for Democratic leadership in the House to allow for censure vote of Omar, who, along with Rashida Tlaib of MI, is one of the first two female Muslim lawmakers to secure seats in Congress.

Citing the tweet, Omar replied, "AIPAC!".

"As Democrats and as Americans, the entire Congress must be fully engaged in denouncing and rejecting all forms of hatred, racism, prejudice and discrimination wherever they are encountered". This kind of rhetoric and imagery has never been the exclusive province of left or right, and both Democrats and Republicans should be hyper-vigilant to ensure that it has no place in our political discourse.

Anthony Brindisi, who also narrowly won his NY swing district, called Omar's comments "disgraceful and blatantly anti-Semitic".

McCarthy urged Democratic leaders to admonish Omar and Tlaib for their backing of the BDS movement, which is meant to put economic pressure on Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank.

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