Everyone screwups so when Ilhan Omar apologized for some anti-Semitic comments and said she made a mistake we took her at her word.
But we are seeing a pattern here that belies her apology – once or twice can be a mistake but a pattern is developing around Omar that is not a good one.
From CNN: The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee called Friday for freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar to apologize after insinuating that pro-Israel groups are pushing “allegiance to a foreign country.”
Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel’s demand comes after a bookstore event Wednesday where 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,” Omar said, according to The New York Times.
In a fiery statement Friday night, Engel, a New York Democrat, took Omar 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.”
“Her comments were outrageous and deeply hurtful, and I ask that she retract them, apologize, and commit to making her case on policy issues without resorting to attacks that have no place in the Foreign Affairs Committee or the House of Representatives,” he added.
Rep. Ilhan Omar came under a fresh round of criticism Friday for remarks about Israel that critics decried as anti-Semitic.
Speaking Wednesday night at a forum at a Washington, D.C., bookstore with fellow freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the Minnesota Democrat said she fears everything they say about Israel is construed as anti-Semitic because they’re Muslim. She said that prevents a “broader debate” about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Omar and Tlaib won their seats in November, becoming the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
The comments, which Omar made when the questions turned to her previous criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, were first reported by the website Jewish Insider .
Some Jewish leaders said she then revived an old trope about divided loyalties among Jewish-Americans when she said, “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.”
She added, “I want to ask, ‘Why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the (National Rifle Association), or fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policy?’”
Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, said in a statement that he was appalled by her suggestion that Jewish-Americans have divided loyalties between the U.S. and Israel. He said her comment “continues the unacceptable pattern of the Congresswoman deploying anti-Semitic rhetoric when speaking about Jewish-Americans’ involvement in our nation’s democratic process.”
Omar ignited a bipartisan uproar in Washington and at home in Minnesota last month when she suggested on Twitter that members of Congress support Israel for money. Many Jewish leaders denounced her remarks as reviving old stereotypes about Jews, money and power. She soon apologized and said, “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”
— Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) March 2, 2019
This is yet another anti-Semitic slur.
American Jews often support Israel but their allegiance is to America.
Also there is a lot of Middle Eastern anti-Israel money in American politics.
We are getting tired of the “rich Jews buy influence” trope.https://t.co/tBAj13vMqy
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) March 2, 2019