Democratic Leaders Postpone Vote on Anti-Semitism Resolution
- Author: Tracy Klein Mar 07, 2019,
Mar 07, 2019, 1:22
Noting the poster in West Virginia that linked Omar with the 9/11 attacks and claiming there were other anti-Muslim attacks targeting Omar, Pelosi continued, "I don't think this is just about comments by Congresswoman Omar, which I do not think were intentionally anti-Semitic ..."
Some Democrats hugged Omar during the meeting, according to other officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
But after pressure from some Democrats to include language addressing anti-Muslim attacks on the representative, House leaders are now looking at adding broader language that addresses bigotry in general.
Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the left-leaning lobbying group J Street, which promotes a two-state solution in Israel, immediately deflected the charges of anti-Semitism away from the freshman congresswoman and toward President Trump, insisting that a discussion about "hate and intolerance" should "start at the top".
As Democratic leaders assembled the new resolution meant to condemn anti-Semitism, some of Omar's fellow House Democrats came to her defense.
Her comments prompted Jonathan Greenblatt, the nation director of the Anti-Defamation League, to write a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing Omar of using a "vile anti-Semitic slur". Initially the measure targeted only anti-Semitism, with some Democrats pushing for a direct rebuke of Omar, but by Tuesday night - facing backlash from members not on board with the plan - leaders made a decision to expand it to include anti-Muslim bias. "As a member of Congress I should not get important information from cable news".
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of SC said he wants the resolution to be "anti-hate" to reject all forms of bigotry and prejudice. In 2012, she tweeted that "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel".
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.
Last week, the Minnesota Democrat talked about Israel at an event in Washington.
"I am a strong proponent of freedom of religion it is one of the bedrock principles of our country", Texas Republican Rep. Ron Wright, one of Omar's colleagues on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Daily Caller.
"I want to ask why is it okay for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, or fossil fuels industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying that is influencing policy", she said. There are no accounts of anyone trying to spin what she said about Israel supporters pledging allegiance to a foreign country as having been more innocuous than it first appeared.
At one point, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a close Pelosi ally, pleaded with Democrats: "Everyone stop tweeting!" "That would have been fine", Vargas said of Ocasio-Cortez's response on Twitter.
Both Democrats and Republicans have criticized Omar, who this year became the first Somali-American and joined Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., as the first Muslim women to serve in the Congress, for what they considered to be anti-Semitic remarks. To question someone's loyalty because they're Jewish, I think, is awful.