The newly-elected, pro-BDS congresswoman has repeatedly used anti-Semitic tropes but remains on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In 2012, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) declared that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” The tweet gained national prominence after she won the November 2018 election and took office as a US congresswoman in January.
She has voiced support for the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.
At the beginning of this week, she explicitly stated that AIPAC, the largest pro-Israel lobby group in Washington, was paying off US politicians to support the Jewish State.
The Muslim congresswoman has been mixing her criticism of Israel with anti-Semitic tropes, conjuring images from the darkest times of Jews supposedly seeking power through money and seeing themselves as having special powers to control others.
Beyond that, she has called for a stop to funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Taking into account that she has been given a seat on the influential House Committee on Foreign Affairs, such a demand is especially startling and dangerous.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both called for her to be removed from the House of Representatives or at least from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Omar’s “tweets were a disgrace [and] her apology was inadequate. Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Pence stated.
The Republican Jewish Coalition says that “Rep. Omar’s language and this hatred have no place in the halls of the US Congress, and we are calling on the Democratic House leadership to strip Rep. Omar of her seat on the prestigious and crucially important House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is launching a nationwide petition to remove Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee due to her anti-Semitism.
The center is also petitioning to have the committee formally censure Omar for her anti-Semitism.
“Anti-Semitism in any form is unacceptable, and it’s shocking to hear a Member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of ‘Jewish money,’” said Rep. Elliot Engel, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee,
The House Democratic leadership responded and labeled Omar’s “anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters” as “deeply offensive” and called on her to “immediately apologize for these hurtful comments,” but fell short of calling for her to be censured.
However, Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Elaine Luria (D-Va.) called on the leadership to condemn Omar.
“As Members of Congress, we are deeply alarmed by recent rhetoric from certain members within our Caucus, including just last night, that has disparaged some members and called into question their loyalty to our nation,” they said in a letter. “We urge you to join us in calling on each member of our Caucus to unite against anti-Semitism and hateful tropes and stereotypes.”
Groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, Democratic Majority for Israel, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, the Zionist Organization of America and B’nai B’rith condemned Omar’s latest anti-Semitic remarks.
Sign the petitions to remove Rep. Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee!
Contact the House Democratic leadership to demand action:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – (202) 225-4965, https://www.speaker.gov/contact/
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer – (202) 225-4131, https://hoyer.house.gov/help/contact
Majority Whip James Clyburn – (202) 225-3315, https://clyburn.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján – (202) 225-2020, http://www.benrlujan.com/contact
Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries – (202) 225-5936, https://jeffries.house.gov/contact
Caucus vice chair Katherine Clark – (202) 225-2836, https://katherineclark.house.gov/index.cfm/email-me