After Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s controversial Israel remarks, House to vote on an anti-Semitism measure

The House will vote Wednesday on a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism after Rep. Ilhan Omar made controversial remarks about Israel at a D.C. forum last week, a senior Democratic aide said Monday.

The staffs of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.; and Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., who chairs the Foreign Affairs subcommittee with jurisdiction over Middle East issues, worked on the resolution over the weekend, the aide said. The text of the measure, however, has not yet been finalized.

Omar, of Minnesota, referred to Israel at a “progressive town hall” at the bookstore and restaurant Busboys and Poets last week, saying. “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

“I want to ask, ‘Why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, or fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policy?’” she added.

On Monday, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote a letter to Pelosi calling on her to hold a vote on a congressional resolution rejecting what he said were Omar’s anti-Semitic statements.

“Accusing Jews of having allegiance to a foreign government has long been a vile anti-Semitic slur that has been used to harass, marginalize, and persecute the Jewish people for centuries,” Greenblatt wrote. “Sometimes referred to as the ‘dual loyalty’ charge, it alleges that Jews should be suspected of being disloyal neighbors or citizens because their true allegiance is to their co-religionists around the world or to a secret and immoral Jewish agenda.”

The senior aide said the resolution being voted on this week was drafted before the ADL’s letter.

Multiple Democratic lawmakers have also criticized Omar’s remarks and have called on her to apologize, including House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., who demanded Friday that she apologize for a “vile, anti-Semitic slur.”

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., a Jewish lawmaker and chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, tweeted Saturday, “Lawmakers must be able to debate w/o prejudice or bigotry. I am saddened that Rep. Omar continues to mischaracterize support for Israel. I urge her to retract this statement and engage in further dialogue with the Jewish community on why these comments are so hurtful.”

In response, Omar tweeted…

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