Reality Check: Rep. Omar's Comments On Israel Were Not Anti-Semitic

Reality Check: Rep. Omar's Comments On Israel Were Not Anti-Semitic

Reality Check: Rep. Omar's Comments On Israel Were Not Anti-Semitic

The resolution is Democratic leadership's response to recent comments from Minnesota freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar that lawmakers in both parties have said play into antisemitic stereotypes. Instead, for the second time since Omar took office just two months ago, they planned to vote on a resolution condemning "anti-Semitism", but really condemning her, and sending a clear message to anyone else in Congress with thoughts of either supporting Omar or criticizing Israel themselves.

Omar, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was recently targeted in a poster displayed in the rotunda of the West Virginia statehouse Friday that linked the congresswoman to the September 11th Attacks.

The vote was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, but has been delayed until Thursday. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., told reporters Tuesday night that he wants the resolution to be "anti-hate" and to tackle all kinds of discrimination, according to Roll Call.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) condemned an effort by House Democratic leadership to issue a veiled rebuke of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for comments about the influence of Israel on American foreign policy. "But this merely diverts attention from the inappropriate assault on Judaism by Congresswoman Omar". "As a member of Congress I should not get important information from cable news".

As for why Democrats are, or were, moving to condemn Omar with a resolution, it's the same reason why Democratic senators scrambled to push Al Franken towards the exit after his #MeToo problem surfaced two years ago. Unlike her previous comments about the Jewish state, Omar is not apologizing for that remark, and progressives are supporting her. She said afterward any resolution would be "redundant and unnecessary". It was to set out the history of anti-Semitism and other bigotry in America and provide examples of anti-Jewish tropes about divided loyalties.

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), who is among the Jewish members involved in crafting the initial resolution, rose to defend the resolution and, according to one member present, grew emotional.

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"When I see Israel institute laws that recognize it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it, and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East I nearly chuckle because I know that if we see that any other society we would criticize it, call it out", she said.

"There are ongoing discussions with all the stakeholders in the House Democratic Caucus as to the appropriate way to proceed", said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of NY, the chairman of the caucus.

Hanging over the internal debate among Democrats is political pressure from Republicans eager to position their party as the more reliable ally of Israel - and a more appealing choice for Jewish voters who have long trended Democratic.

The Post reported that at one point during the meeting, Pelosi ally Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) pleaded: "Everyone stop tweeting!".

Omar's progressive freshman colleagues, such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have also come to her defense.

Vargas on Wednesday brushed off the online clash: "She could have come down the hall and asked me what my opinion is. It's something that we shouldn't question at all".

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