Foreign Affairs Committee chair says he is ‘not close’ to removing Rep. Ilhan Omar

After she uttered yet another anti-Semitic remark — this time, questioning the “allegiance” and loyalty of American Jews — Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar has left some wondering whether she should retain her assignment on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

However, the chairman of that committee — a Jewish man who has sharply called out Omar for her anti-Semitic remarks previously — just made it clear that the freshman congresswoman is not in any danger of losing her seat.

Omar won’t be removed

Democratic New York Rep. Eliot Engel, chair of the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee, recently joined CNN host Erin Burnett to discuss the situation with Omar.

Asked if he was “close” to making a decision to remove her from the influential committee, Engel replied: “No, I’m not close to it.”

“I don’t know that that would do anything except exacerbate the situation even more,” Engel said. “I’m looking to get rid of anti-Semitism, not looking to punish anybody.”

Engel’s hesitance to call for Omar’s removal from the committee seems to run counter to his initial rebuke of the congresswoman’s latest anti-Semitic tropes.

He previously said in a statement that there was “no place” on his committee — or in Congress, for that matter — for such bigoted and hateful behavior.

Virtue signaling at its worst

Earlier in the segment, Engel was asked directly if he thought Omar was an anti-Semite, but he demurred to label her as such and instead issued a broad denunciation of hateful bigotry in general.

There was also some discussion of what initially was intended to be a House resolution to specifically condemn Omar’s anti-Semitism.

That move has since been watered down to not mention Omar at all.

As for Omar herself, Engel expressed his hope that she would “grow and change” beyond her current tendency to utter anti-Semitic tropes.

But considering how often she has repeated them in recent weeks, it’s hard to believe Omar has any interest in changing her bigoted ways.

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