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BANGKOK 21 February 2019 21:04
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U.S. lawmaker apologises after House leaders condemn comments as anti-Semitic

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U.S. lawmaker apologises after House leaders condemn comments as anti-Semitic

 

2019-02-11T215534Z_1_LYNXNPEF1A1P9_RTROPTP_4_USA-CONGRESS-OMAR.JPG

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic lawmaker Ilhan Omar apologised on Monday after party leaders condemned her comments about the pro-Israel lobby in the United States as using anti-Semitic stereotypes.

 

"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," Omar, who was elected for the first time to the U.S. House of Representatives in November, said in a statement.

 

"My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole," she said, adding that she "unequivocally" apologised.

 

Omar was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for saying on Twitter that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, was paying U.S. politicians to support Israel.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic House leaders condemned her remarks earlier, calling for an apology and saying anti-Semitism must be confronted and condemned.

 

"Legitimate criticism of Israel's policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share," they said. "But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive."

 

Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, said on Twitter, "Rep. Omar's use of anti-Semitic stereotype was offensive and irresponsible."

 

Even before her most recent comments, Republicans had criticized Democrats for appointing Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and called for her to be removed from her seat because of past statements critical of Israel.

 

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Kieran Murray and Leslie Adler)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-02-12

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2 hours ago, Chomper Higgot said:

Did anybody answer the accusation Omar made by proving it incorrect?

There’s a pretty good opinion piece by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post about this (“Ilhan Omar’s Tweets Were Appalling”). I guess, sure, AIPAC, like any other lobbying group, contributes to the campaigns of people they like (although they would need to do it through a PAC -- frankly, I’m not sure how lobbying groups operate in terms of funneling cash). It seems to me that the keyword here is “tropes”: god knows how many people I’ve talked to make the leap from “AIPAC lobbies for pro-Israel interests” to “AIPAC dictates US foreign policy.” People perceived that Omar was skirting with such stuff in her tweets, fairly or not. She apologized, she keeps her committee seats, and everything is cool. But I think the bigger picture is, the Democrats want to maintain the high ground in the whole bigotry/racism issue over the Republicans, and mildly censuring one of their own over something like this helps them do that.

Edited by Cory1848
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9 hours ago, webfact said:

U.S. lawmaker apologizes after House leaders condemn comments as anti-Semitic

She is speaking with a person who is on record of voicing approval for the killing of Jews. Certainly not a good optic.  It will be interesting to see how Democrats handle this given that they are calling for Governor Ralph Northam to resign following a decades old picture of him in blackface they said disparages black americans.  That seems pretty tame compared to showing an open kinship to someone who celebrates the killing of Jews. 

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If there is one thing sections of the Left are increasingly unembarrassed about, it is picking up old Nazi 1930s nostrums about the "Jewish Lobby" and running with the same dog-whistle politics. Both extremes happy to swim in the same sea. Rolling up on this thread note the usual suspects.

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1 hour ago, SheungWan said:

If there is one thing sections of the Left are increasingly unembarrassed about, it is picking up old Nazi 1930s nostrums about the "Jewish Lobby" and running with the same dog-whistle politics. Both extremes happy to swim in the same sea. Rolling up on this thread note the usual suspects.

Perhaps you have the answer to my question at #2?

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Omar's comments can read as criticism of Congress. If all are uniting against her tweets it means that none wants them to take hold and all are concerned. From Trump who was bankrolled by Adelson to Schumer who is a long time AIPAC darling.

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