Following recent comments made by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a House vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism has been delayed. While progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez come to the aide of their colleague, Democrats attempt to rewrite the motion to cover all forms of prejudice.
The declaration, which was intended to point out the history of anti-Semitism and other types of bigotry in America and to provide examples of anti-Jewish comparisons about divided loyalties, was supposed to be introduced on Wednesday. The declaration was also supposed to state that the House “rejects anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”
The resolution was drawn up after Omar created an uprising for repeated anti-Semitic comparisons. In February, Omar wrote on Twitter that anyone who supports Israel has been bought. She also stated that the American Isreal Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) supports and contributes to pro-Israel politicians, even though the group doesn’t make any kind of campaign contributions. Omar also accused the Americans who support Israel of pushing others to have “allegiance to a foreign country.”
Democrats, who are facing pressure from the progressives, have delayed the resolution announcement to at least Thursday so they can reword the resolution to include all forms of bigotry. “We’re still discussing it. The sentiment is that it ought to be broad-based. What we’re against is hate, prejudice, bigotry, white supremacy, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. “Yes, we’re strongly against anti-Semitism, but we’re strongly against prejudice directed at any group,” he added.
Liberals that are a part of the Democratic Party have pushed to include the outright objection of anti-Muslim speech, which comes after a poster was displayed at the West Virginia Statehouse that linked Omar to the terror attacks on September 11.
Jewish and Muslim groups from the far-left are planning to put on events to support Omar, while at the same time, progressive political groups launch a fundraising effort to support Democratic lawmakers that are backing Omar.
Ocasio-Cortez stood behind her close ally, explaining that is was “hurtful” that the Democrats were attempting to criticize Omar for anti-Semitic statements, even though they weren’t doing the same when it came to comments made about other minority communities. “It’s not my position to tell people how to feel, or that their hurt is invalid. But incidents like these do beg the question: where are the resolutions against homophobic statements? For anti-blackness? For xenophobia? For a member saying he’ll ‘send Obama home to Kenya?’” she said in reference to a comment that Rep. Mark Meadows made in the past. She also commented that the Democrats should have handled the situation with Omar in private rather than calling her out publicly.
“‘Calling out’ is one of the measures of last resort, not 1st or 2nd resort. We do it when repeated attempts to ‘call in’ are disrespected or ignored. And I believe that Ilhan, in her statement a few weeks ago, has demonstrated a willingness to listen+work w/impacted communities,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez.
The comments that Omar has made have prompted people to make calls to remove her from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which would be an appropriate punishment, according to the Republicans, because that’s what they did to Rep. Steve King when he made comments that were proven to be racist.
Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Eliot Engel dismissed that action, saying that her presence on the committee had nothing to do with the comments she made. According to Politico, Engel said: “I don’t think the Foreign Affairs Committee should be used as punishment for anybody. But I do think [Omar] needs to understand what she said is very hurtful. Whether she is on the committee or not is not the issue.”