Omar furor reflects intensifying national debate over Israel

Omar furor reflects intensifying national debate over Israel

Kerry Wise
March 11, 2019

"And I think that the fact that the House Democrats are not able even to just put a simple resolution on the floor condemning anti-Semitism, condemning Representative Omar's remarks, stripping her from her membership on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, tells you where that party is today", Cheney said.

I don't think she's a bigot but, as with other sensitive topics, its not hard to sound like one when you make strong criticisms in such touchy areas as US policy toward Israel.

Politico paraphrased Omar as saying Obama's message of "hope and change" was a mirage, though it was not clear the congresswoman actually said that.

Trump went on to say that "the Democrats have become an anti-Israel party".

"Yesterday's vote was disgraceful", he said.

The resolution condemned the charge of dual loyalty against Jewish Americans, stating it "constitutes anti-Semitism because it suggests that Jewish citizens can not be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors, when Jews have loyally served our Nation every day". The Anti-Defamation League reported a 58 per cent increase in such incidents between 2016 and 2017.

Iran's Zarif spoke on phone with his Pakistani counterpart, urged restraint: ISNA
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had tweeted that it made no difference to Washington , whether Zarif stays or goes. In a letter on Tuesday, the parliamentarians have asked the president to encourage Zarif to remain in his post .

The comments came on the heels of an earlier controversy in which Omar was roundly condemned for suggesting that money is the reason USA lawmakers support the Jewish State. Supporters tweeted the hashtag #istandwithilhan to express their solidarity with Omar and their outrage at the reaction to the congresswoman's criticisms of Israel and the political lobbying done on that country's behalf in the US.

"Real Time" host Bill Maher reversed course over allegations of anti-Semitism against Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, after previously defending her. Omar, a Somali refugee who resettled in Minnesota, had sparked fiery debate with her repeated criticisms of Israel and how a powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington exerts influence on U.S. politicians. "She was the first and boldest of all of the members of Congress to come out against the US-backed coup in Venezuela; she is constantly working hard to end USA support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen; we all remember her incredible grilling of war criminal Elliott Abrams".

Pocan, who is co-chair of the House's LGBT Equality Caucus, recalled leading a delegation of five members of Congress two years ago to East Jerusalem and the West Bank's Ramallah and Hebron, the latter of which was the scene of the 1929 massacre of 67 Jews.

"I do not believe she understood the full weight of her words". A few Republicans who opposed the resolution said it should have only covered anti-Semitism.

"We know that when people get backed into a corner... they get uglier and uglier", she warned. "I thought that vote was a disgrace, and so does everybody else if you get an honest answer". "We need to stay vigilant".