Young Israel: Democratic Leadership Should Strip Ilhan Omar of Her Committee Assignments After Her Reprehensible Anti-Semitic Tropes

February 11, 2019

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today denounced Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for her latest round of anti-Semitic rhetoric, in which she intimated that U.S. support for Israel is the result of campaign contributions from AIPAC, a bipartisan group that works to strengthen and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship, and urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leaders to strip her of her committee assignments after they called on Omar to apologize for her remarks.

Omar’s comments came after journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote anti-Semitic comments on Twitter, namely that, “Equating @IlhanMN & @RashidaTlaib’s criticism of Israel to Steve King’s long defense of white supremacy is obscene (McCarthy said it’s worse). In the US, we’re allowed to criticize our own government: certainly foreign governments. The GOP House Leader’s priorities are warped.” Responding to Greenwald’s Tweet, Omar wrote, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” and when asked who she thought was paying U.S. officials to be pro-Israel, Omar replied “AIPAC!”

Omar, who is a strong supporter of the anti-Semitic BDS movement, has a history of making anti-Semitic statements, including referring to what she termed “the apartheid Israeli regime” and her remark several years ago that Israel had “hypnotized the world” to ignore its “evil doings.”

“Rep. Omar’s inexorable anti-Semitic comments leave no question about her detestation for the American Jewish community and the State of Israel,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “Her anti-Semitic views are reprehensible, and the delight and excitement with which she relentlessly goads the Jewish Americans is disgraceful. By spewing anti-Semitic tropes with impunity and promulgating prejudicial views with regularity, Rep. Omar is using her position as a Member of Congress to unjustly assail the American Jewish community and launch a dangerous attack on the American ideal of religious tolerance.”

“While we are grateful that Speaker Pelosi and House Democratic leaders condemned Rep. Omar’s anti-Semitic comments, it is critical that further action be taken in light of the odious nature of her remarks,” added Weiss. “Just as House Republican leaders did when they recently stripped Rep. Steve King of his committee assignments following his troubling comments in which he defended white supremacists, House Democratic leaders must also clearly demonstrate that there are ramifications for racism exhibited by a Member of Congress. Speaker Pelosi and the other House Democratic leaders should immediately remove Rep. Omar from her assigned committees, including the Foreign Affairs Committee. Without taking further action, merely calling on Rep. Omar to apologize for her anti-Semitic tropes is wholly inadequate.”

The NCYI also thanked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for criticizing Omar’s comments and for calling on Democrats to “take action” against both Rep. Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. “Anti-Semitic tropes have no place in the halls of Congress,” said McCarthy. “It is dangerous for Democrat leadership to stay silent on this reckless language.”

In addition, the NCYI expressed its gratitude to a number of prominent Democrats who spoke out and denounced Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks, including Chelsea Clinton and several Members of Congress. The NCYI also thanked Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia, who are spearheading a letter to Democratic leaders from Jewish Democrats, in which they call on Democrats to come together to combat anti-Semitism and call for action whenever a Member of Congress uses anti-Semitic tropes or makes hurtful accusations of dual loyalty between the United States and Israel.

“As Rep. Omar engages in a dangerous and divisive anti-Semitic dialogue, we are grateful to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and those members of the Democratic Party who refuse to stay silent while their colleague broadcasts a message of hate,” Weiss said. “We join with those Democratic representatives who have called for action, and urge the Democratic leadership to take immediate steps to censure Rep. Omar for her anti-Semitic dog-whistling and double down on their efforts to ensure that support for the U.S.-Israel relationship remains a bipartisan issue.”

In light of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s latest anti-Semitic remarks, the NCYI reiterated its call for the House Democratic leaders to immediately bring to a floor vote H.Res.72, a congressional resolution introduced by Rep. Lee Zeldin, a New York Republican, that rejects anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatred in the United States and around the world.