Democrat seeks action against colleague over anti-Semitism allegations

Saul Bowman
March 6, 2019

Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, has been accused of employing anti-Semitic tropes since taking office over her criticism of Israel and the role of the Jewish state's backers in Washington.

However, Omar herself has been a target of hatred. Rashida Tlaib at Busboys and Poets in Washington. "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country", Omar said last week. Omar's spokesman, Jeremy Slevin, said she is not criticizing American Jews or their faith, only offering a "fair critique" of Israel's powerful lobby.

More anti-Semitism on full display by Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Those who took issue with her statement said that, though she did not specifically reference Israel, the remarks supported by her known critical stance on Israel's policies played into classical anti-Semitic claims that Jewish US citizens harbor dual loyalties. But they are mindful of how the increasingly aggressive criticism of Israeli Government policy from Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and other liberals is creating tensions inside the Democratic caucus, where pro-Israel sentiment generally remains strong. The House is expected to vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on Wednesday. That effort passed 424-0, with two Republicans voting present and five lawmakers skipping the vote.

On Friday, Engel called on Omar to apologize for her "vile anti-Semitic slur". "Being opposed to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and the occupation is not the same as being anti-Semitic". Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. It is possible she may lose her committee seat as a result. While not calling for that, Engel's statement seems to suggest that if Omar does not cease with the offensive comments she could eventually be removed from the committee.

Unlike the previous two incidents, Omar did not apologize this time.

Last week, Rep. Omar said in response to a question about USA policy toward Israel, "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country".

Unlike before, this time Omar is not apologizing and is pushing back hard, aided by the firepower of other congressional allies like New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Responding to Lowey, Omar doubled down.

"Rep. Omar's continued peddling of anti-Semitic trope underscores the urgency to take action", Zeldin, R-New York, wrote in a statement. "I am sure we agree on that!", she told Ms. Lowey as if Ms. Lowey's support for Israel was not in the interests of the 17th Congressional District of NY. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone, " Omar tweeted Sunday. In a recently deleted 2012 tweet, she said that "Israel has hypnotized the world" and referred to the "evil doings of Israel". "I am sure we agree on that!" "Because we end up defending that and nobody ever gets to have the broader debate of what is happening with Palestine".

Harvard Law school professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz slammed embattled Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Monday for her latest "anti-American" and "anti-Israel" comments - and said he hopes she loses her Democratic primary election in 2020.

Pelosi and other senior Democrats have drafted a resolution to address the controversy, which intensified over the weekend following a dramatic clash between Omar and senior Jewish lawmakers.

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