Here’s what’s going on in the war between Ilhan Omar and Nancy Pelosi – Washington Examiner
A political crisis is brewing inside the halls of Congress. A few freshman Democrats have drawn the ire from both sides about their position on the U.S.’s relationship with Israel.
In the lead up to the 2018 midterm election, then-congressional candidates Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., — the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress — were criticized for a series of troubling remarks about Israel that were rooted in anti-Semitism. It all began with an escalation of violence in November 2012 initially provoked by Hamas militants. Omar, who was then active in Minnesota politics, tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
That tweet came back to haunt Omar during her 2018 congressional run, as it dredges out an old anti-Semitic trope that Jews are somehow conspiring to take over the world.
As members of Congress, both Tlaib and Omar have faced criticism for rolling out another anti-Semitic trope, the suggestion that Jewish Americans have dual loyalties. In January 2019, Tlaib, responding to a Senate bill that would combat the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel, tweeted, “They forgot what country they represent.”
In February 2019, Omar came under heavy criticism from her Democratic colleagues that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (better known as AIPAC) was paying members of Congress for their support of Jewish state, even tweeting, “It’s All About the Benjamins.” During an event later that month, Omar said, “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.”
Supporters of Omar have argued that the congresswoman has been singled out for bringing up this point about American allegiance to Israel, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and a number of Democrats are debating a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism. But the progressive wing of the party, led by Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has been quite vocal in its opposition.
Ocasio-Cortez has attempted to defend Omar by making a broader statement that nothing is done when other communities are supposedly slandered for dual loyalties saying, “One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities.”
However Democrats choose to respond to anti-Semitism going forward will say a lot about the direction of the party and where it’s heading. And if this issue persists in the national conversation, it could mean that Pelosi’s influence over her caucus is waning.