In a series of anti-Semitic tweets on Sunday, freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) suggested that Jews were using financial incentives and AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, to unduly manipulate U.S. foreign policies in favor of Israel.
Omar’s remarks were met with wide-spread and bipartisan condemnation, including from Democratic leadership. A petition is now being circulated to try and pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into removing Omar from her position on the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Condemnation from Congress
The Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, released a statement strongly condemning Omar for her use of an “anti-Semitic trope” such as “Jewish money” influencing U.S policy and reiterated his support for the nation of Israel and opposition to blatant anti-Semitism.
— Elizabeth Landers (@ElizLanders) February 11, 2019
Feeling the pressure from her party leadership, Omar “unequivocally” apologized for using anti-Semitic tropes — but in the same breath went back to criticizing AIPAC’s “problematic” role in U.S. politics.
Republican House Minority Whip Steve Scalise expressed his appreciation of the Democratic condemnations of Omar, but suggested the condemnations would be worthless if Omar was allowed to continue to serve on the powerful committee that helps guide U.S. foreign policy.
Good that some Dems have condemned the disgraceful anti-Semitic remarks of Rep. Omar—but their words are empty unless Dem leaders remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee. No one with her anti-Semitic views should be allowed to represent US foreign policy on that committee.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 11, 2019
President Donald Trump also denounced Omar’s rhetoric, telling reporters on Tuesday, “I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the foreign affairs committee.”
Remove Omar from FA Committee
The petition now being circulated would do just that — remove Omar from the committee — assuming of course that it gains support and that Pelosi even pays any attention to it.
It reads, “While Nancy Pelosi has finally demanded Omar issue an apology, that is not nearly enough. We demand House Speaker Pelosi immediately remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
History of anti-Semitic bigotry
This isn’t the first time that Omar has expressed anti-Semitic sentiments on social media. Breitbart recently recounted how Omar’s open anti-Semitism dates back to at least 2012, when she referred to Israel as “evil” and said they had “hypnotized the world” to gain favor.
She has also compared Israel’s democracy to that of Iran — in other words, non-existent — and has decried the very existence of a “Jewish state.” Once Omar even sought leniency for several Somali-Americans who were arrested after attempting to join the Islamic State terrorist group, among other things.
It remains to be seen how many signatures the petition will receive, not to mention if Pelosi will give it any merit, but the fact remains that, at least as of now, there is an openly anti-Semitic Democratic congresswoman seated on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
It’s simply unacceptable behavior from an elected representative, particularly one from the party that so self-righteously claims to stand opposed to hate, bigotry and intolerance.