Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Is Accused of Making Anti-Semitic Remarks Again

Ilhan Omar right and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ilhan Omar right and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Leonard Rios | 06 March, 2019, 06:46

"At what point do you say to her, Congresswoman Omar, 'Look, you're not on this committee anymore.' You strip her of her seat". To many of them, we're not minorities; we're simply privileged white people with undue influence in global politics.

Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, looks around from her seat on the floor of the Minnesota House as the 2017 Legislature convened at the State Capitol in St. Paul on January 3, 2017.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote to Pelosi that she should 'give the entire Congress an opportunity, through a House resolution, to voice its rejection of her latest slur and make clear that no matter what may divide the 435 members of the House of Representatives, they are united in condemning anti-Semitism'. Omar's office declined to comment about the Democratic resolution on Monday.

On Facebook and Twitter, political analyst Omar Baddar said: "The Israel lobby is NOT the American Jewish community". And Rep. Juan Vargas of California, who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee with Omar, called questioning USA relations with Israel "unacceptable".

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.

A dark day for the Democrats, surely. But last week, Omar said at a Washington bookstore that she worries that everything she says about Israel would be construed as anti-Semitic.

President Trump is speaking out against Representative Ilhan Omar for her latest round of anti-Semitic comments.

"I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel", she wrote.

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Omar, who was also recently the target of an Islamaphobic display likening her to a Muslim terrorist, defended herself in a string of tweets on Sunday night.

Her comments sparked outrage from members of Congress, with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel calling them "unacceptable and deeply offensive".

Barely two months ago, Omar was celebrated as somewhat of a poster congresswoman: the first naturalized USA citizen from Africa, first Somali-American, first hijab-wearing Muslim and first minority woman to represent Minnesota in Congress.

"Accusing Jews of having allegiance to a foreign government has always been a vile anti-Semitic slur that has been used to harass, marginalize, and persecute the Jewish people for centuries", wrote Greenblatt. "Worse, Rep. Omar's comments leveled that charge by invoking a vile anti-Semitic slur".

Omar, who has retained the support of fellow freshman progressive Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY and Rashida Tlaib of MI, immediately rebuffed the calls for her to retract her comments.

President Donald Trump jumped into the controversy as well. She ultimately apologized "unequivocally" for those tweets. But she does associate with one and I can't figure out why, especially since she clearly isn't always comfortable doing so.

Staffers for Pelosi and top Democrats, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), began drafting the resolution over the weekend as the confrontation between Omar and her colleagues unfolded on Twitter.

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