Ilhan Omar addresses anti-Semitic tweets: 'I unequivocally apologize'

Ilhan Omar addresses anti-Semitic tweets: 'I unequivocally apologize'

Omar's Sunday tweet was not her first anti-semitic display. "But Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive".

Omar and fellow Muslim congressional freshman Rashida Tlaib's support for the boycott has opened a breach in the Democratic Party and threatens to create a fissure in the ironclad US-Israeli alliance.

Omar agreed to meet with Clinton on the issue, saying, "we must call out smears from the GOP and their allies". "In a time of increased anti semitism, we all must be held to account".

Omar wrote back to Clinton on Twitter, saying she would be "happy to talk". In the United States, we're allowed to criticize our own government: certainly foreign governments.

With that in the background, things heated up with two terse tweet responses Sunday night in which Omar suggested that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful pro-Israel interest group, paid members of Congress to support that country. The Anti-Defamation League also urged Pelosi to take action.

"As Democrats and as Americans, the entire Congress must be fully engaged in denouncing and rejecting all forms of hatred, racism, prejudice and discrimination wherever they are encountered".

The comments received swift condemnation from members of congress on both sides of the aisle, including from Pelosi, the ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, said her assertion that Jewish groups "manipulate government with money invokes age-old anti-Semitism".

"For her apology to be believed, one would have to believe that she didn't know of the anti-Semitic trope that Jews use their money to control world politics", The Republican Jewish Coalition tweeted. "My intentional is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole".

Omar has received heavy criticism in recent weeks for making a slew of negative comments about Israel and Jews, including comparing Israel to Iran.

Representative Eliot Engel, the Jewish chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on which Omar sits, similarly condemned the freshman lawmaker in a Monday afternoon statement issued soon after Nadler's.

How much criticism has she gotten?

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Omar's tweets drew a rebuke from Democratic House leaders, who called on her to apologize on Monday.

Women's March organiser Sophie Ellman-Golan accused McCarthy of attacking Omar and Tlaib "in the name of "defending" Jews". In 2012, before she was in Congress, Omar said Israel was "hypnotizing" the world, a comment for which she has since apologized.

The spat spurred a conversation about the political influence of AIPAC, which spends millions lobbying on legislation each year.

In 2018, AIPAC spent more than US$3.5 million lobbying for pro-Israel measures, according to lobbying disclosure filings maintained by the Senate's Office of Public Records. This week USA troops are in Israel working alongside the Israel Defense Forces for defense collaboration.

Ms Omar has been consistent in her criticism for Israel and is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. "Just be careful to do it in a way that can't be interpreted as being anti-Semitic".

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