House Dems to act on anti-Semitism resolution
House Democratic leaders will bring to the floor Wednesday a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, a senior Democratic aide tells CNN, following outrage over comments made by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar last week that insinuated pro-Israel groups are pushing “allegiance to a foreign country.”
This will be the second time this year the House votes on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. Last month, Republicans were able to get similar language added to a resolution after Omar linked US support for Israel to money and lobbying.
The latest resolution was worked on over the weekend by staff from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel of New York and House Ethics Committee Ted Deutch of Florida. The text is still not final, per the aide.
At a Washington bookstore event last Thursday, Omar argued that critics labeling her as an anti-Semite looked to silence a necessary conversation.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” said the Minnesota Democrat, according to The New York Times.
In a fiery statement Friday night, Engel called on Omar, who is a member of his committee, to apologize and to her to task for yet another controversial comment over the political influence of pro-Israel groups on politicians.
“I welcome debate in Congress based on the merits of policy, but it’s unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the US-Israel relationship,” Engel said in the statement. “We all take the same oath. Worse, Representative Omar’s comments leveled that charge by invoking a vile anti-Semitic slur.”
Omar’s office did not respond directly to a request for comment on Engel’s statement, though she tweeted about the issue several times this weekend, including responding to fellow Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, who called on her to retract her comments.
“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!” Omar tweeted.
Omar has previously apologized after she faced backlash for tweets condemned by both sides of the aisle as anti-Semitic, after suggesting Republican support of Israel is fueled by donations from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent pro-Israel group.