USA congresswoman Omar apologizes for tweets on AIPAC's influence

Anti-Semitism is spreading like poison,’ French minister says

Anti-Semitism is spreading like poison,’ French minister says

I very recently defended Omar and her fellow Muslim representative, Rashida Tlaib, against McCarthy's attacks, but I can not countenance her attribution of pro-Israeli attitudes, within and beyond the Republican Party, to the "Jewish lobby", however it's defined.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic House leaders condemned her remarks earlier, calling for an apology and saying anti-Semitism must be confronted and condemned.

"I certainly support a strong and safe Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East and I'm going to continue to do that", she said.

Aipac's website says it offers a congressional club membership that requires "political contributions in a clearly pro-Israel context to candidates".

It started when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) threatened to take action against Omar and another freshman lawmaker, Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), over allegedly anti-Semitic remarks.

The resulting firestorm has mostly been composed of critics from both parties accusing Omar of consciously promulgating the ancient smear of wealthy Jews buying influence, and some defenders suggesting she's accurately describing AIPAC's vast power. Pelosi and other Democrats, including leaders and chairmen, laid down a marker making clear that Omar had overstepped.

In her retweet of Greenwald's post, Omar added, "it's all about the Benjamins baby".

"In the U.S., we're allowed to criticise our own government: certainly foreign governments".

On Sunday, Omar claimed the reason GOP leaders lashed out at anti-Israel comments was because of money, saying "its all about the Benjamins".

Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota apologized Monday for her anti-Semitic tweets, while reaffirming her criticism of pro-Israel lobbyists. The Anti-Defamation League also urged Pelosi to take action.

Pelosi was joined in the message by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, third-ranking Democrat James Clyburn of SC and three other members of House Democratic leadership.

"That goes right into the anti-Semitic bias which has plagued the world for too long", King said. Lawmakers can debate the influence of any particular group on policymaking, he said, but they must "be extremely careful not to tread into the waters of anti-Semitism or any other form of prejudice or hate". "At a time when anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, our leaders should not be invoking hurtful stereotypes and caricatures of Jewish people to dismiss those who support Israel".

"Yeah, I don't subscribe to that", Haaland said, as the interview ended. "They should never be a part of any conversation about the policies of Congress".

Rep. Ilhan Omar sparked a growing backlash from Democrats and Republicans across the United States Monday; facing fierce criticism after posting another series of anti-Semitic and conspiratorial tweets on social media over the weekend.

Omar has yet to respond to the American Jewish Committee's request. Her spokesman told Politico yesterday that the tweets "speak for themselves". Abdallah also "liked" a comment on his Facebook post that calls on God to wreak "revenge on the damned rapists Zionists". "Congresswoman Omar's statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself".

On Sunday night, Omar, one of the two first Muslim women elected to the House last November, tweeted references to Israel that many in her own party deemed unacceptable. The tweet appeared to suggest McCarthy's pro-Israel stance is motivated by money.

Republicans demanded that Omar be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, arguing that she should not be part of a panel which considers USA foreign policy in the Mideast.

Omar supports a movement known as BDS, for "boycott, divestment and sanctions" aimed at Israel. AIPAC spends millions annually on lobbying efforts, and the group's clout inside the Beltway is demonstrated by its record of legislative successes.

The tweet came during Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip that erupted when Israel killed chief Hamas' military wing Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike following escalation on the border that saw over 100 rockets launched into Israel within a 24-hour period.

"No, criticism of Israel isn't anti-semitism, just like criticism of a Muslim majority state isn't islamophobia, by default", wrote Hend Amry, a Libyan-American writer.

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