House resolution condemning anti-Semitism omits Minnesota Rep. Omar's name

Rep. Josh Gottheimer at the site of an alleged illegal dumping operation of potentially contaminated dirt in a Vernon neighborhood in December 2018

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Tuesday that he does not want Rep. Ilhan Omar removed from her seat on the committee for making comments about pro-Israel groups that several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called anti-Semitic.

But Ms. Omar, a Minnesota Democrat and one of the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress, essentially doubled down in her reply, despite Ms. Lowey having specified that "accus [ing] Jews of dual loyalty" was one of these "anti-Semitic tropes".

Mutliple news organizations reported Tuesday evening, citing Democratic aides, that, in response to progressive concerns that Rep. Ilhan Omar was being unfairly singled out, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had chose to broaden the resolution. Its text was not final as of Monday afternoon.

The senior Democratic aide said the anti-Semitism resolution the House will vote on Wednesday was drafted long before the letter and that ADL was aware of it.

Correction: March 4, 2019 12:00 am - An earlier version of this story said the House voted 424-0 earlier this month on a Republican motion to condemn anti-Semitism.

A number of House Democrats have publicly criticized Omar over her latest comment.

The 29-year-old NY congresswoman added on Twitter, criticizing Trump: 'Unlike this President, Rep. @IlhanMN demonstrated a capacity to acknowledge pain & apologize, use the opportunity to learn abt history of antisemitism, +grow from it while clarifying her stance'. She also has insisted that Jewish people have a nefarious amount of sway over Congress through the use of money in politics, and has added that Jewish U.S. legislators have a misplaced allegiance to Israel.

As reported by The New York Times, the congresswoman also "questioned why it was acceptable for her to speak critically about the political influence of the National Rifle Association, fossil fuel industries and 'big pharma, ' but not the American Israel Public Affairs Committee", which she has criticized in the past. She also tweeted, "I have not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel, I have questioned it and that has been clear from my end".

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Staffers for Pelosi and top Democrats, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), began drafting the resolution over the weekend as the confrontation between Omar and her colleagues unfolded on Twitter.

While this may be true of Pelosi, most Democrats, and maybe even Congress in general, it manifestly does not apply to Omar.

Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz agreed, describing Omar's criticisms as "repeated misunderstandings" that were "hurtful".

On Friday, Engel called on Omar to apologize for her "vile anti-Semitic slur". Omar responded in a series of tweets Sunday. And not just because she's Muslim: The congresswoman from Minnesota has criticized the influence Saudi Arabia has on United States politics as well, without the commensurate controversy.

The freshman congresswoman then accused Israel supporters of swearing "allegiance" to the Jewish state. "She accuses them of dual loyalty ..."

What about the Democratic Party leaders?

She initially drew criticism by her fellow House Democrats for suggesting that Congress backed Israel because lawmakers were being paid to do so, not because it was a pro-western democracy and American ally.

"And her attack on supporters of Israel is an attack on America", Dershowitz warned.

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