House Democrats have reportedly left Rep. Ilhan Omar’s name out of a resolution condemning anti-Semitism which was drafted in response to recent controversial comments she had made.
An outcry from Jewish lawmakers, the Anti-Defamation League and others over the Minnesota Democrat’s tweets about Israel and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lead to Democratic leaders drafting the resolution which they are planning to bring to the floor Wednesday, The Daily Caller reported.
Omar has come under fire for her comments and recent tweets about the “dual loyalty” of congressional members on Israel, with her remarks on the Israel-Palestine conflict and on Israel itself drawing backlash from many, including top-ranking Democrats and her colleagues on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Omar “continues to mischaracterize support for Israel,” Democratic New York Rep. Nita Lowey, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, tweeted over the weekend.
Lawmakers must be able to debate w/o prejudice or bigotry. I am saddened that Rep. Omar continues to mischaracterize support for Israel. I urge her to retract this statement and engage in further dialogue with the Jewish community on why these comments are so hurtful.
— Nita Lowey (@NitaLowey) March 2, 2019
Omar responded on Sunday, tweeting that she “should not be expected” to have “allegiance” to another country.
Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that! https://t.co/gglAS4FVJW
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 3, 2019
The tweets followed comments Omar made at a town hall meeting last week that again appeared to push the anti-Semitic theory that Jewish people have “dual loyalties.”
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” the freshman lawmaker said.
The congresswoman drew criticism last month after a fiery clash with President Trump’s Venezuela envoy, Elliott Abrams, during a House hearing, referring to the Jewish-American diplomat as a “Zionist war criminal.”
Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz accused Omar of being “very anti-American” during an interview on “Fox & Friends” Monday, saying “her attack on supporters of Israel is an attack on America.”
Dershowitz described Omar’s status in Congress as a “bait and switch,” since she is focusing on an anti-Israel platform though she did not run on that issue, adding that the far-left congresswoman needs to examine her own loyalties.
“She told her constituents when she ran that she would support America, and she is not,” he said. “She is supporting America’s enemies and undercutting American values.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, responded to Omar’s latest remarks with a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling for a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism.
Today I wrote to @SpeakerPelosi asking for Congressional resolution rejecting #antiSemitic statements like those made by Rep. Omar & making clear that no matter the political party, the House is united in condemning #antiSemitism. Full letter here: https://t.co/Zt1aJAB2lz pic.twitter.com/8aMNzktPKu
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) March 4, 2019
Greenblatt’s letter referred to the “dual loyalty” charge and addressed the latest remarks by Omar:
Accusing Jews of having allegiance to a foreign government has long been a vile anti-Semitic slur that has been used to harass, marginalize and persecute the Jewish people for centuries. Sometimes referred to as the “dual loyalty” charge, it alleges that Jews should be suspected of being disloyal neighbors or citizens because their true allegiance is to their co-religionists around the world or to a secret and immoral Jewish agenda. This anti-Semitic allegation posits that non- Jews should not trust the motives or actions of their Jewish neighbors, who may be engaged in deceitful behavior to accomplish their own goals at the expense of others.
The ADL CEO also cited Pelosi’s own condemnation of Omar for comments she made last month about a pro-Israel lobby’s influence on U.S. politics, tweeting that AIPAC was paying members of Congress to support Israel. Pelosi called for an apology from Omar, saying that “her use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 12, 2019
Omar issued an apology of sorts and deleted the tweet while President Trump called for her resignation or that she at least be removed from serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“That is why that, in light of these additional anti-Semitic statements by Rep. Omar,” Greenblatt’s letter to Pelosi concluded, “we ask that you 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.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democratic New York Rep. Eliot Engel, Democratic New York Rep. Jerry Nadler and Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch worked on the resolution over the weekend, Fox’s Mike Emanuel reported.
Senior Democratic aide tells #FoxNews:
•Resolution condemning anti-Semitism will be on floor this week
•Resolution was worked on over the weekend by staffs from Pelosi, Hoyer, Engel, Nadler and Deutch.
•Resolution will be on the floor Wednesday.
— Mike Emanuel 🇺🇸 (@MikeEmanuelFox) March 4, 2019
The text of the resolution, as reported by Eliza Collins of USA Today, refers to the “dual loyalty” trope but makes no mention of Omar by name.
— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) March 4, 2019
Doesn’t look like it calls Omar out by name https://t.co/rCSd5ukrVv
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) March 4, 2019
Part of the resolution reads:
Whereas the definition further includes “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations;” Whereas the myth of dual loyalty, including allegations that Jews should be suspected of being disloyal neighbors or citizens, has been used to marginalize and persecute the Jewish people for centuries for being a stateless minority.
Whereas accusing Jews of dual loyalty because they support Israel, whether out of a religious connection, a commitment to Jewish self-determination after millennia of persecution, or an appreciation for shared values and interests, suggests that Jews cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors.
A resolution in January censured Rep. Steve King for comments he made in a New York Times interview.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he reportedly asked and later took to the House floor to defend himself following the meltdown and calls from his own party to censure him.
That resolution in January condemning the congressman named King in its body and the title and stripped the nine-term Iowa Republican from his positions on the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees.