Democrats clash over anti-Semitism resolution in response to Omar comments

Mar 07, 2019, 01:20
Democrats clash over anti-Semitism resolution in response to Omar comments

In a closed-door session, Democrats protested plans to vote this week on a resolution condemning religious hatred, a measure prompted by Omar's comments last week suggesting supporters of Israel have "allegiance to a foreign country".

House Democrats blew up at each other Wednesday over intra-party attacks and a proposed resolution viewed as a rebuke to Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D., Minn.) latest anti-Semitic remarks, exposing a divide in the caucus. "And the resolution that should be passing this week should be naming names", Zeldin said.

The letter states that she has been "falsely accused of antisemitism" and that there was nothing anti-Semitic about calling out the "noxious" role of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in American politics.

In a tweet from February, she said that congressional support for Israel all came down to money, tweeting, "It's all about the Benjamins baby".

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Controversy generated by Rep. Ilhan Omar consumed House Democrats on Wednesday, as a growing debate about their party's stance toward Israel drowned out a good-government message that Democratic leaders hoped would be the week's focus.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Tuesday that a resolution condemning anti-Semitism will now also condemn anti-Muslim bias.

Sanders' vague statement did not explicitly lump in Omar's recent comments with "legitimate criticism", but he has provided no clarity on the statements themselves - so far failing to condemn her repeated use of antisemitic tropes like dual loyalty or Israeli control of US politicians.

"My comments were about the process we are using when concerns arise", Hayes said in a statement.

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Pelosi, along with House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, began drafting the second resolution over the weekend, but by Tuesday night it appeared they made a decision to postpone any vote while they consider amending the text to include language addressing all forms of hate and bigotry.

Rights groups and activists worry that the continued condemnation from Congress and the president are fueling Islamophobic attacks on Omar and other Muslims. The four-page measure, drafted by Pelosi, Engel, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., details the history and recent rise of anti-Semitism in the USA and does not call out Omar by name. It is at least the third time she has forced older, pro-Israel Democrats who run the House into awkward territory over U.S. "It doesn't start with one member out of 435 members of Congress". "I mean, these are the guys who are trafficking in 'globalists, ' 'Soros, ' all this language that helped inspire the guy who walked into a synagogue in October and murdered 11 Jewish worshippers".

Vargas on Wednesday brushed off the online clash: "She could have come down the hall and asked me what my opinion is".

The Post reported that at one point during the meeting, Pelosi ally Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) pleaded: "Everyone stop tweeting!"

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Leaders of influential Jewish-American groups and a number of prominent Democratic lawmakers bristled at what they saw as a suggestion of dual loyalty, pointing out that charged has been used against Jews for centuries to marginalize them politically and socially. "I don't know that that would do anything except exacerbate the situation even more. It's something that we shouldn't question at all".