Two Jewish House Democrats, alarmed by what they consider anti-Semitic comments from new Muslim colleagues, had urged Pelosi and her top lieutenants to denounce the divisive rhetoric and take action to stop it. But Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive.
The editorial called Omar's apology for her latest tweets, in which she suggested the financial clout of the pro-Israel lobbying organization AIPAC was responsible for Republican lawmakers's support for Israel, "grudging".
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday insisted that freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar immediately apologize for tweets saying that members of Congress are being paid by a powerful interest group to support Israel.
The letter is the culmination of growing concerns - from within her own party and across the aisle - over Omar's comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict. The freshman congresswoman defended anti-Israeli statements, such as ones invoking Allah to expose Israel's "evil doings", and she has come out in favor of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to punish the nation-state of Israel by economically depriving the country for its alleged mistreatment of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Former president George H.W. Bush once said "I'm just a little, alone man opposing thousands of lobbyists in Capitol Hill" regarding a disagreement with AIPAC on mortgage loan guarantees to be given to Israel.
In a pair of tweets over the weekend, Omar criticized the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.
Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Omar's words only serve to fuel bigotry.
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Pelosi may face additional pressure to remove Omar from the Foreign Relations Committee, says KC Johnson, a professor at Brooklyn College and the City University of NY, who formerly taught at Tel-Aviv University.
That same jump-in-head-first attitude that's helped the 38-year-old political rookie break barriers has also gotten her entangled in heated political fights, most recently stemming from allegations of anti-Semitism based on fiery Twitter exchanges.
AIPAC, however, does not give members of Congress campaign donations. She was referencing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.
Omar had initially said she didn't understand why American Jews would be offended by the statement, which critics argued evoked ugly Nazi conspiracies about Jewish people's power to "hypnotize" the world. On Friday, McCarthy challenged Democrats to make similar moves against Omar and Tlaib, drawing an equivalence between their actions and those of King. When asked who she thought was paying lawmakers, she replied: "AIPAC!"
"It's now apparent to me that I spent lots of energy putting my 2012 tweet in context and little energy in disavowing the anti-Semitic trope I unknowingly used, which is unfortunate and offensive", she tweeted last month.
Others welcomed Omar's apology, saying right-wing forces level accusations of anti-Semitism to divide the progressive movement. Several of those Democrats had raised concerns that the bill's bid to rein in anti-Israel boycott efforts risked violating the constitutional rights of activists, although all the senators are opposed to the Palestinian-led push itself.