House Dems' Rebuke of One of Their Own Called 'Remarkable'

At issue is Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar's 'use of anti-Semitic tropes'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2019 2:38 PM CST
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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., arrives before President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – As far as rebukes go, Politico called it "extraordinary"; Vox went with "remarkable." The House Democratic leadership on Monday called on one of their party's own—Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar—to apologize for her "deeply offensive ... use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters." The leadership's statement continued: "We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments." The Washington Post reports that Omar posted two tweets Sunday night that were seen as feeding into the "tired stereotype that Jews control politics with money." The timeline: A report came out on Sunday indicating GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who had punished Rep. Steve King after offensive remarks, was going to ask the Dems to do the same to Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib due to anti-Semitic views.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted in response to the report, and Omar weighed in on his tweet, writing "it's all about the Benjamins," suggesting Republicans are supporting Israel in exchange for campaign donations. When she was asked on Twitter where the funds were coming from, she replied, "AIPAC!" (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Vox provides deep background and analysis, and shares this take: "Whether or not one takes McCarthy’s complaints seriously, he has correctly identified a potentially explosive issue that is very well-calibrated to the specific goal of getting Democrats to fight with each other about a topic most Americans probably don’t care very much about." Omar did tweet a statemement Monday saying, among other things, "I unequivocally apologize," but she added that she stands behind her criticism of "the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics," including AIPAC. (Omar made history when she was sworn in.)

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