After pressure from House Democrats, six Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives issued a statement condemning anti-Semitic remarks from fellow Democratic representative Ilhan Omar (Minn.).
Wait, what comments?
In a tweet from 2012, Omar said: "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil deeds of Israel."
On Sunday, Omar responded to a tweet in which Glenn Greenwald criticized the interceptor Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Of the House of Minority for warning that he would "take action" against earlier anti-Semitic remarks from Omar. "It's amazing," tweeted Greenwald, "how much time American political leaders spend defending a foreign nation, even if this means they have to attack the freedom of speech of Americans."
Omar responded to that tweet by saying "It's all about the Benjamins baby," a clear reference to the common anti-Semitic comforter that Jews somehow manipulate world events through enormous wealth.
She also accused AIPAC, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, of paying American politicians to publicly give them a pro-Israeli stance. Despite the fact that "PAC" is in the initials, AIPAC is a 501 (c) (4) non-profit organization and does not donate to political candidates.
What did House Democratic leaders say?
On Monday, Democratic representatives Josh Gottheimer (N.J.) and Elaine Luria (Va.) Called on the leaders of their party to speak out against Omar's remarks.
"We must speak when a member – democrat or republican – malicious tropics and stereotypes use, accuse levels of double loyalty, or make reckless statements like those yesterday," they said, NPR reported.
After this letter, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Majority Whip James Clyburn (DS.C.), Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.) , Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.), and Democratic Caucus vice-chairman Katherine Clark issued a statement in which Omar's "anti-Semitic optics" and "biased accusations" were called "very offensive."
"Anti-Semitism must be called upon, confronted and condemned when it is found without exception," said the statement, Seung Min Kim, the Washington Post. tweeted. It went on:
We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel in Congress because we understand that our support is based on shared values and strategic interests. Legitimate criticism of Israeli policy is protected by the values of freedom of expression and the democratic debate that the United States and Israel share. But the use by Congresswoman Omar of anti-Semitic optics and biased accusations of Israel's supporters is very insulting. We condemn these remarks and we call on Congressman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful remarks.
In a tweeted statement, her reprimand from House leaders, Omar tweeted that she "listened and learned, but stood firm".
She acknowledged that anti-Semitism & # 39; really & # 39; is and thanked & # 39; Jewish allies and colleagues who teach me about the painful history of anti-Semitic tropics & # 39 ;. She also said, "I apologize unambiguously."
Then she turned and said: "At the same time, I confirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it is AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry, it has been going on too long and we must be prepared to to catch. "