Trump calls on Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign

Saul Bowman
February 13, 2019

"Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress", Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting. Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said he would not tolerate them and found it "shocking to hear a Member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of "Jewish money.'" He said he will emphasize to members of the panel of both parties that the American-Israeli relationship is important".

On "The Ben Shapiro Show" Monday, Shapiro said Omar may have been rebuked by Democratic leaders, but he questioned why Democrats haven't pushed for a resolution of censure, which is a formal, public reprimand.

Omar apologized Monday for comments in which she implied that a prominent pro-Israel lobby compensated lawmakers for their support of the Jewish state, but insisted on what she called "the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics".

Ocasio-Cortez's defense of Omar came after Omar's latest anti-Semitic incident over the weekend when Omar "displayed her blatant anti-Semitism by tweeting that GOP support for Israel was 'all about the Benjamins, ' and followed by accusing AIPAC of paying American politicians to support Israel", The Daily Wire reported.

Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders issued a statement describing Omar's tweets as "deeply offensive". "The continuing controversies will make it hard for Omar to enlist the congressional colleagues she'll need to get the work done", the Star Tribune wrote. "We support Israel's right to exist". She backtracked and apologized after a New York Times columnist explained to her why Jews could find it offensive.

The letter is the culmination of growing concerns - from within her own party and across the aisle - over Omar's comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict. And while Omar has at least proved willing to apologize, this stumble has stirred Democratic division over the already contentious topic of Israel.

Senior Democrats dealt the new lawmaker a swift schooling.

Among those who condemned Omar were Democratic and Republican lawmakers; Dan Shapiro, former USA ambassador to Israel during the Obama administration; and Jewish organizations.

AIPAC, however, does not give members of Congress campaign donations.

Trump himself drew widespread criticism from Jewish groups and others after saying "both sides" were to blame after a 2017 Charlottesville rally where white supremacists carried Nazi flags and shouted anti-Semitic slogans, facing off with counter-protesters.

Omar has also expressed regret for tweeting in 2012: "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel". "We know that numerous attacks against her are created to discredit a new generation of political leaders who are opposed to the Netanyahu government's racist policies", wrote IfNotNow, an American Jewish activist group that opposes the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Such legislation includes financial support for Israel and measures that would ban boycotts of Israel, including the BDS movement.

Less than a week earlier, all but one high-profile Democratic senator eyeing the White House in 2020 voted against a Middle East policy measure that included a provision cracking down on BDS activism against Israel.

One of those notes was one that read, "Mazel Tov".

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