Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Democrats are gearing up to confront Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) over her series of anti-Semitic remarks.
According to a report from Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and several other senior lawmakers are drafting a resolution to address Omar’s remarks. It is expected to reach the floor Wednesday.
News of the potential political confrontation came after Omar, who has now waded into the anti-Semitic pool a few times, took a shot at Americans — particularly Jewish Americans — who have pledged support for Israel.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it’s OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said, referring to defenders of Israel, during a town-hall-type meeting last week at a café in Washington, D.C.
Anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) pushes the anti-Semitic dual loyalty canard, says: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country [Israel].” pic.twitter.com/Df3HSC6WhU
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 28, 2019
If nothing else, Omar has proven time and again to be a proverbial thorn in her own party’s side.
Immediately after she made the troubling but unsurprising remarks, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, took to Twitter to rebuke Omar, a Muslim and the country’s first Somali-American politician.
Lawmakers must be able to debate w/o prejudice or bigotry. I am saddened that Rep. Omar continues to mischaracterize support for Israel. I urge her to retract this statement and engage in further dialogue with the Jewish community on why these comments are so hurtful.
— Nita Lowey (@NitaLowey) March 2, 2019
Omar, for her part, rebuffed Lowey’s suggestion. Rather than retract her words, Omar doubled down.
“I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee,” she tweeted.
Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that! https://t.co/gglAS4FVJW
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 3, 2019
Democrats are taking the right step in calling out Omar, because regardless of how it sounds — whether it’s anti-Semitism with a tiki torch or with a law book — it has no place in the public square.
This isn’t the first time Omar has used her platform to advance anti-Semitic tropes shrouded in progressive political philosophy. Last month, she drew intense backlash after suggesting GOP support for Israel was all about campaign contributions.
In a tweet she has since deleted, Omar wrote, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” referring to $100 bills. When asked to explain where the money was coming from, she replied, “AIPAC,” one of the top lobbying groups in the country.
She also recently defended a 2012 tweet in which she accused Israel of “evil doings” and claimed the Jewish state has “hypnotized the world.”
Democratic leaders, it should be noted, are still debating whether they will include Omar’s name in the resolution condemning anti-Semitism.