Ilhan Omar apologizes after backlash over ‘anti-Semitic’ tweet
Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar “unequivocally” apologized Monday for a tweet that was once condemned by means of Democratic House leaders as “anti-Semitic” for saying that lobbyists on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are investment her critics.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” she mentioned in a remark.
“That is why I unequivocally apologize,” she mentioned.
The bother for the Minnesota Democrat started when The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald tweeted a hyperlink to a Haaretz article that mentioned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is thinking about “action” towards Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for the 2 new Muslim individuals of Congress’ criticisms of Israel.
McCarthy mentioned they deserved a minimum of as a lot of a reprimand as was once dropped at Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for his lamentation that “white supremacy” is out of style. King’s remarks have been condemned in a House solution and he was once stripped of his committee posts.
“It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans,” Greenwald tweeted.
“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” Omar tweeted in answer. “Benjamins” refers to $100 expenses, on which Benjamin Franklin is depicted.
That tweet brought on Forward columnist Batya Ungar-Sargon to respond that she “would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess.”
“AIPAC!” Omar tweeted in reaction.
That tweet opened a refrain of bipartisan condemnation.
“Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception,” learn a joint remark from Democratic management: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn, Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark.
“Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share. But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments,” they mentioned.
Pelosi mentioned she met with Omar on Monday and that Omar “agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.”
Still, Omar retweeted a number of posts that defended her remarks, together with one from Greenwald implying that Islamophobia was once at the back of the costs of anti-Semitism. Another implied that Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson was once the only investment McCarthy’s outrage on behalf of Israel.
“Accurately describing how the Israel lobby works is not anti-semitism,” learn any other put up that Omar retweeted.
The remark from the Democratic House management didn’t point out any punishment for Omar, who sits at the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team have made clear there are no consequences for the anti-Semites in their caucus,” mentioned National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Michael McAdams.
“Please learn how to talk about Jews in a non-anti-Semitic way. Sincerely, American Jews,” Ungar-Sargon mentioned in a tweet linking to her article explaining that she believes Omar’s tweet performs into outdated anti-Semitic tropes about Jews controlling global finance.
Chelsea Clinton “co-signed” Ungar-Sargon’s tweet as “an American.”
“We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism,” Clinton mentioned.
After pushback from different Twitter customers, Clinton vowed to fulfill with Omar on Monday to speak about the subject additional. Omar approved in a tweet, announcing, “We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith.”
So a ways, it does no longer seem the ladies have set an respectable time and position for the assembly.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., mentioned in a remark that Omar’s “choice of words” was once “deeply disappointing and disturbing.” He mentioned the congresswoman seemed to “traffic in old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money.”
Nadler mentioned Omar’s phrases have been in particular “hurtful and offensive” in gentle of a tweet Omar posted in 2012 through which she mentioned, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
“Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself,” tweeted Rep. Max Rose, a fellow freshman Democrat from New York, at the side of a remark.
“Anti-Semitic tropes have no place in the halls of Congress. It is dangerous for Democrat leadership to stay silent on this reckless language,” McCarthy mentioned.
He added that certainly one of his “greatest honors is leading new members on a bipartisan trip to Israel to showcase the shared values and unbreakable bond between our countries.”
AIPAC – which spent about $three.five million on lobbying efforts in 2018, consistent with OpenSecrets – sponsors an annual congressional shuttle to Israel. The group additionally spoke back to Omar with a tweet.
“We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the US-Israel relationship,” the gang mentioned on its respectable Twitter account. “We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work.”
Omar, the primary Somali-American elected to Congress, and Tlaib and feature expressed reinforce for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions motion, which claims that “Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights.” It objectives to make use of financial power to drive Israel to finish its “regime of settler colonialism, apartheid and occupation over the Palestinian people.”
“Israel is an ally of the United States and I think as much as you would look to your neighbor to your friends to live out the same values as you are, we want to make sure that our allies are living out the same values that we push for here,” Omar instructed CNN ultimate week.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations defended Omar and Tlaib in a remark on Monday.
“Anti-Semitism is real. It should not be used disingenuously as a tool to silence legitimate criticism of a foreign nation’s discriminatory policies. CAIR applauds Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib for their courage in speaking the truth about Israel’s racial, religious and ethnic segregation,” CAIR mentioned. “Agenda-driven groups – like AIPAC – have for decades enabled that segregation and the resulting denial of human rights for Christian and Muslim Palestinians.”
Less than per week after taking place of work, Tlaib sparked outrage in a tweet criticizing the backers of anti-BDS law for forgetting “what country they represent.”
Omar’s reinforce for the BDS motion drove McCarthy to object to Pelosi’s placement of Omar at the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January.
“Nancy Pelosi mentioned in 2017 that Congress ‘must’ oppose the BDS motion towards Israel. Chuck Schumer went even additional, calling BDS ‘anti-Semitism’ and ‘profoundly biased.’ I would like to understand what modified, as a result of Democratic leaders simply promoted a pro-BDS Democrat to a key committee that offers with the State of Israel,” McCarthy mentioned in a remark ultimate month.
“Anti-Semitism has no place in Congress and certainly not on the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” he mentioned.
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