Pelosi and Democratic Leaders Condemn Omar Statements as Anti-Semitic


WASHINGTON — Representative Ilhan Omar, who has been battling charges of anti-Semitism for weeks, drew swift and unqualified condemnation from fellow Democrats on Monday — together with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and your complete House management — after she insinuated on Twitter Sunday evening that American help for Israel is fueled by cash from a pro-Israel lobbying group that has Jewish backing.

“Legitimate criticism of Israel’s insurance policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share. But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive,” the 5 House Democratic leaders, together with Ms. Pelosi, stated in a joint assertion. “We condemn these remarks and we name upon Congresswoman Omar to instantly apologize for these hurtful feedback. As Democrats and as Americans, your complete Congress have to be totally engaged in denouncing and rejecting all types of hatred, racism, prejudice and discrimination wherever they’re encountered.”

Ms. Pelosi stated she had spoken with Ms. Omar and stated they “agreed that we should use this second to maneuver ahead as we reject anti-Semitism in all varieties.”

The management assertion got here as concern crescendoed over Ms. Omar’s twitter remark linking cash from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to political help in Washington for Israel. That raised the anti-Semitic trope of Jewish cash holding inordinate energy over overseas coverage.

The leaders’ assertion got here out a couple of hours after different Democrats broke rank and voiced their condemnations. Two House Democrats, Representatives Elaine Luria, a freshman from Virginia, and Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, launched a letter Monday morning calling on Democratic leaders to talk out in opposition to any lawmaker who “makes use of dangerous tropes and stereotypes, ranges accusations of twin loyalty, or makes reckless statements like these yesterday.”

“As Jewish Members of Congress, we’re deeply alarmed by latest rhetoric from sure members inside our Caucus, together with simply final evening, that has disparaged us and known as into query our loyalty to our nation. We urge you to hitch us in calling on every member of our Caucus to unite in opposition to anti-Semitism and hateful tropes and stereotypes,” they wrote.

[Read the letter here.]

The two, who addressed the letter to your complete Democratic management together with Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, didn’t point out Ms. Omar by title. But different Democrats did. Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, known as it “deeply disappointing and disturbing to listen to Representative Ilhan Omar’s (MN) selection of phrases in her alternate with a journalist yesterday, whereby she seems to site visitors in outdated anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and cash.”

Representative Max Rose of New York, one other freshman Democrat, responded on to Ms. Omar on Twitter, calling her statements “deeply hurtful to Jews.”

Representative Donna E. Shalala, a freshman Democrat from Florida and former Health and Human Services secretary, added, “There is not any place in our nation for anti-Semitic feedback. I condemn them regardless of the supply. To recommend members of Congress are ‘purchased off’ to help Israel is offensive and flawed.”

Chelsea Clinton additionally weighed in, saying on Twitter that Americans ought to anticipate “all public figures to not site visitors in anti-Semitism.”

The Twitter exchanges started when Ms. Omar, Democrat of Minnesota and one of many first two Muslim girls elected to Congress, responded to a tweet by the journalist Glenn Greenwald. Mr. Greenwald had accused Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican chief, of concentrating on Ms. Omar and one other Democratic freshman, Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who has additionally been sharply essential of Israel.

“It’s all in regards to the Benjamins, child,” Ms. Omar wrote, a reference to hundred-dollar payments.

That set off extra tweets during which a Jewish journalist requested whom Ms. Omar was referring to when she advised that cash was driving American Israel coverage. “AIPAC!” she replied, referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Aipac doesn’t contribute to political campaigns, however its large-scale conferences and congressional journeys to Israel have lengthy drawn enthusiastic and bipartisan participation.

They have additionally elicited costs that Aipac has intentionally fed a one-sided view of the Israel-Palestinian battle into American politics. Ms. Tlaib, a Palestinian American, has been making an attempt to arrange her personal congressional journey to the West Bank to provide lawmakers the Palestinian facet of the difficulty.

And Palestinian rights teams largely stood by Ms. Omar and her criticism of the group.

Aipac responded with a press release that stated, “We are proud that we’re engaged within the democratic course of to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship. Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and pursuits. We is not going to be deterred in any means by ill-informed and illegitimate assaults on this necessary work.”

Republican leaders shortly demanded that Ms. Omar be faraway from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, simply as Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, was stripped of his committee assignments after he made feedback sympathetic to white supremacy.

But what distinguished the occasions of Sunday and Monday from earlier controversies round Ms. Omar was the willingness of Democrats to hitch in.

Ms. Omar had been making an attempt to distance herself from a 2012 touch upon Twitter during which she stated Israel had been hypnotizing the world to look previous its actions in Gaza. She expressed remorse for trafficking in an anti-Semitic trope, which she stated was unwitting. And she had reached out to Jewish Democrats to make amends.

But her newest feedback made some query the authenticity of her contrition.

“In latest weeks, we’ve got had conversations with a number of members of our Caucus who share our considerations about this rhetoric; we’ve got additionally raised these considerations with Democratic management. We should communicate out when any Member — Democrat or Republican — makes use of dangerous tropes and stereotypes, ranges accusations of twin loyalty, or makes reckless statements like these yesterday,” Ms. Luria and Mr. Gottheimer wrote.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations urged the Democratic leadership to censure Ms. Omar: “We respect the statements made to this point by a number of Democratic Members of Congress repudiating Rep. Omar on this entrance,” the conservative group stated in a press release. “But within the face of an unprecedented rise in anti-Semitism on this nation and around the globe, we name upon all Members to talk up and be counted amongst those that explicitly reject anti-Semitism. And we name upon Speaker Pelosi and the Congressional management to instantly take concrete motion to censure Representative Omar for her offensive statements.”





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