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Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for anti-Semitic tweets after backlash from congressional leaders

12 February, 2019, 04:15 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Omar Ilhan in anti-Semitism row for saying AIPAC money behind Republican support for Israel

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and other high-ranking Democrats are slamming freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D-MN) recent comments about her fellow members of Congress - condemning them as anti-Semitic.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D, said that it was "shocking to hear a Member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of 'Jewish money.' " Omar serves on the Foreign Affairs panel.

USA congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a famed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporter, apologized after pointing an accusatory finger at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), saying the organization is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.

Ungar-Sargon's tweet was a direct response to California Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's calls to reprimand Omar for her continued displays of antisemitism.

"Legitimate criticism of Israel's policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share", the statement read.

Even some progressives criticized Omar for the tweets, which they said smacked of anti-Semitic tropes against American Jews. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity.

The tweets were enough to ignite fury on Twitter, and accusations that Ms Omar was being anti-Semitic for suggesting that support for Israel was all about the money.

Rep. Ilhan Omar issued a statement on Monday apologizing for a pair of anti-Semitic comments the Minnesota freshman Democrat made over the weekend.

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The American Jewish Committee immediately responded, telling Rep. Omar "suggesting that a Jewish organization is buying off American politicians is both demonstrably false and stunningly anti-Semitic".

Weiss's column treated Omar's tweet about Israel's "evil doings of Israel" as a one-off.

Rose, who is Jewish, wrote in a statement, "Congresswoman Omar's statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself".

Generally speaking, Americans tend to be pro-Israel thanks to acute and widespread awareness of the Holocaust and of Jewish statelessness as one of the principal reasons the Holocaust occurred (you could contrast this, by the way, with the average Americans very limited awareness of Palestinian history). A spokesman for Omar did not immediately respond to a request from The Post for comment; her spokesman told Politico earlier Thursday that the tweets "speak for themselves".

The first two Middle East Congresswomen, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, have openly endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

"The use of stereotypes and offensive rhetoric by members of Congress, whether anti-Semitic or racist, must come to an end".

"These latest harmful and damaging remarks regarding our support for our most valued key U.S. ally in the Middle East can not go unchallenged".

But others have called the attacks a smear campaign against Ms Omar, and some noted that there is a difference between criticising AIPAC activities and anti-semitism.

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