Omar: ‘I unequivocally apologize’ after backlash over new Israel tweets

12 February, 2019, 03:25 | Author: Donnie King
  • Omar Ilhan in anti-Semitism row for saying AIPAC money behind Republican support for Israel

"And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith", Omar wrote.

Omar's tweet sparked a bipartisan backlash.

The tweets implied that members of Congress are being paid by a powerful interest group to support Israel.

Pelosi was joined in the message by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, third-ranking Democrat James Clyburn of SC and three other members of House Democratic leadership.

"I fully expect that when we disagree on the Foreign Affairs Committee, we will debate policy on the merits and never question members' motives or resort to personal attacks", Engel said.

Democratic House lawmakers and former government officials are characterizing recent comments from one of their rising stars, Omar of Minnesota, as antisemitic.

"To be clear, she's not listening or learning because she keeps using anti-Semitic tropes to push her anti-Semitic agenda, then pretending she's not heard of the tropes", Jason Rantz tweeted.

He said if Democratic leaders don't take action, he might act on his own. Both have been vocal advocates for Palestinians and support the "Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" (or BDS) movement to punish Israel economically.

Elaine Luria of Virginia and Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey on Monday published a letter urging House leaders to "unite against anti-Semitism and hateful tropes and stereotypes".

The statement from Pelosi and other top Democrats came soon after House GOP leaders had said they would force a vote this week on the House floor to repudiate comments by Omar, as Republicans have been trying for days to highlight statements by Omar, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the other newly-elected Muslim in the U.S. House.

The Anti-Defamation League, a national organization that tracks and responds to anti-Semitism, said Omar's tweets were a "retread of ideas spread by bigots from David Duke to Louis Farrakhan".

AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has formidable financial clout, and it prides itself on its influence in USA politics.

Back in October, McCarthy posted a tweet that suggested three Jewish billionaire Democratic donors - George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg - were attempting to "buy" the 2018 midterm elections.

The American Jewish Committee demanded an apology, calling her suggestion that AIPAC is paying American politicians for their support "demonstrably false and stunningly anti-Semitic".

The idea that it's "Jewish money" or "the Jewish lobby" or AIPAC that's the main reason Republicans have moved in this direction is an absolutely ideal distraction from the real reasons, and one that furthers the argument that you have to choose between Netanyahu, settlements, and Greater Israel on the one hand, or anti-Semitism on the other. He said he supports Israel "because of our common values".

Weiss's column treated Omar's tweet about Israel's "evil doings of Israel" as a one-off. Omar responded to one critic who asked the MI congresswoman who she believes is paying American politicians to support Israel. "However racist or bigoted tropes can be intentionally or unintentionally triggered in making those critiques and yes that matters - it always matters", Hend Amry tweeted.



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