Top Democrat Demands Apology From Rep. Omar, Accusing Her Of ‘Vile Anti-Semitic Slur’

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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., faced new accusations of making anti-Semitic remarks Friday, this time rebuked by a senior member from her own party who says the House freshman’s words conjured a “vile anti-Semitic slur.”

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, demanded an apology over comments Omar made on Wednesday, less than a month after she was condemned by bipartisan leadership for suggesting pro-Israel lobbying groups and Jewish politicians influence American politics.

Her comments came during a town hall in Washington, while speaking about progressive issues. “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,” Omar said.

In a statement Friday, Eliot said he welcomed debate in Congress but that it was “unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the US-Israel relationship.”

“Her comments were outrageous and deeply hurtful, and I ask that she retract them, apologize, and commit to making her case on policy issues without resorting to attacks that have no place in the Foreign Affairs Committee or the House of Representatives,” he said.

Omar’s spokesman, Jerermy Slevin, told The Associated Press on Friday the congresswoman expressed remorse about her comments in February but that “we must distinguish between criticism of a particular faith and fair critiques of lobbying groups.”

Just as earlier this month the congresswoman “only meant to target the pro-Israel lobby,” he said.

Engel’s call for Omar to apologize follows two other incidents from earlier this year.

Omar’s Jan. 22 apology came after a 2012 tweet recirculated, in which she said, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

Then, she said the post was merely referring to Israel’s conduct in war.

In February, more than 20 House Democrats demanded a second apology from Omar after she suggested (again, on Twitter) that Israel’s allies in Congress were wealthy Jews driven by money. Trump called for Omar to either resign from Congress or give up her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and bipartisan leadership issued a joint statement insisting on an apology for her “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters.”

For Omar, who is Muslim and represents a district with a fairly large Muslim population, Israel’s treatment of Palestinians has long been an issue of note.

As The Post previously reported: “The firestorm exposed deep divisions within the Democratic Party over the unquestioned U.S. support of Israel, pitting long-standing Democratic backers of the Jewish state against the party’s newest lawmakers and several 2020 presidential candidates who have spoken out in favor of Palestinian rights.”

Omar apologized on the social media platform, writing: “anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”

(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Deanna Paul  



  1. The מחשפה is so out of line. If she took on the Palestinian issue she should be directing her rile against the savagery of her very own compatriots and the Jordanians. None of the arab countries want the Palestinians- they consider them drek!

  2. Ther was no such thing as Palestinians before 1948. There were the Jordanians who in effect are the palestinians so they should complain to Jordan why they’re not anxious to receive their own people!!!

    • most of the arabs which now call themselves palestinians are not jordanians, their ancestors came to work in then-called Palestine around the turn of the previous century, many were in the construction business. They were interested in moving to iraq in the 20s as there was a lot of building going on there, but the British would give them troubles with visas, possibly because they needed a larger Arab population to counterbalance Jewish immigration; and so, many of them stayed. The Jordanians consider them as another poster has written, and so do the egyptians and the saudis.

  3. It is time to hold her feet to the fire and ask her about her own home country of Somalia in East Africa where she comes from.

    In Somalia there is a decades old civil war where hundreds of thousands of Somalis have been butchered by their own Somali brothers.

    Why doesn’t she ever talk about the problems in Somalia?

    And it is the same Somalis in Minnesota that elected her, why did they elect her and not someone else? Isn’t that some sort of dual loyalty too?

  4. A wise man once said, recognizing a group of people as, say, very industrious, is NOT racism. Hating (discriminating against) them because they are industrious, IS racism.

    The Jews DO lobby their politicians for the causes closest to their hearts. This, in turn, certainly influences politics, politicians, and policies.
    The Israeli government IS a good ally in the region. That is a fact.
    The UN giving Israel the right to exist does not mean the Ratzon HaShem is they should be there (as a country). Jews lived there comfortably and amicably along side the indigenous Arabs for many decades. Yeshivos, yishuvim, moshavim, and kibbutzim, shechunos and settlements were all doing well. There was no need for taking Eretz Yisroel by force and establishing a memshalah on own, ergo, angering the citizens. That is likewise a fact.
    None of this is racism.

  5. Eliot Engel is a racist and should step down immediately. He’s only saying such outrageous things about Ms. Omar because she’s a Muslim. I’m very concerned now about backlash.

  6. Antisemitic statement #1, followed by “Oops, I mistweeted”.
    Democratic reaction: “No problem; all is forgiven!”

    Antisemitic statement #2, followed by “Oops, I didn’t realize it would be offensive”.
    Democratic reaction: “No problem; all is forgiven!”

    Antisemitic statement #3, followed by .
    Democratic reaction: Hopefully something other than “No problem; all is forgiven!” Because at this point there will be Antisemitic statements #4, 5, and 6 ad infinitum.

    • Exactly. If you notice the Democrats “demand” an apology but no suggestion is ever given that the person resign or get kicked off of the committee. They will always circle the wagons for one of their own. Now if a Republican would of made the same exact comments………………………………….


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