Dissent among Dems over Response to Omar's Israel Remarks

Ilhan Omar and Nancy Pelosi
Fact Check — FALSE Ilhan Omar’s Phony Claim About Congress and Anti Muslim Bigotry Chip Somodevilla Getty8 Mar 2019
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07 March, 2019

"What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate". 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.

It went on to say that "The pro-Israel lobby has played an outsized role in producing almost unanimous congressional support for Israel", and slammed AIPAC and other lobby groups including the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the fossil fuel lobby for its "anti-democratic" legislative influence on U.S. politics. "As Jews with a long tradition of social justice and anti-racism, AIPAC does not represent us." and called on other Jews to sign the letter.

Sanders' vague statement did not explicitly lump in Omar's recent comments with "legitimate criticism", but he has provided no clarity on the statements themselves - so far failing to condemn her repeated use of antisemitic tropes like dual loyalty or Israeli control of US politicians.

"She could have come down the hall and asked me what my opinion is".

Many of those speaking out Wednesday were members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who bristled at the notion that Omar (Minn.) would be targeted for a rebuke - even an indirect one, as Democratic leaders had planned - while lawmakers remain silent about Republican behavior, especially that of Trump. The House Foreign Affairs Committee was writing the measure, Pelosi said, but she said had no specific timing yet for a vote.

"I'm not sure we need to continue to do this every single time", said Rep. Primayla Jayapal, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

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US House Democrats have delayed a vote on a second resolution condemning anti-semitism as politicians squabble over its wording, according to US media. "But it starts at 1600 Pennsylvania".

Pelosi, along with House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, began drafting the second resolution over the weekend, but by Tuesday night it appeared they chose to postpone any vote while they consider amending the text to include language addressing all forms of hate and bigotry.

"One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities (during the shutdown, a GOP member yelled "Go back to Puerto Rico!" on the floor)", Ocasio-Cortez said in series of tweets. The alternative is scarier, that they either agree with Omar on the merits or see enough support for her views among their own constituents that they feel obliged to try to defeat a resolution aimed at her. People are "looking for ways to take her down". "That would have been fine", Vargas said of Ocasio-Cortez's response on Twitter.

Outside progressive groups, such as Democracy for America and CREDO Action, issued statements Tuesday criticizing Democratic leaders for using the antisemitism resolution to attack Omar.

At one point, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a close Pelosi ally, pleaded with Democrats: "Everyone stop tweeting!" I think this is a time of testing for the House of Representatives. "We've got important work to do".

This article was written by Mike DeBonis, Rachael Bade, reporters for The Washington Post.


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