Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leadership condemns Ilhan Omar for anti-Semitic tweets

February 11, 2019 GMT

Democratic leadership condemned Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota on Monday for posting anti-Semitic tweets over the weekend.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, joined by the other four top Democrats in the party leadership, issued a joint statement explicitly addressing Ms. Omar’s controversial messages.

“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 wrote. “But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.”


Ms. Omar came under fire Monday after implying over Twitter that pro-Israel American lawmakers only do so in order to get campaign contributions from Jewish lobby groups. She suggested that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee was one of the organizations bribing lawmakers with special interest money.

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” she added to a tweet criticizing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

In a tweet, Mrs. Pelosi announced that she spoke with the freshman member of Congress, and they agreed that the controversy should be used to resolutely reject anti-Semitism.

Ms. Omar has not issued another public statement about the growing controversy.

The leadership stressed America’s commitment to Israel and the shared values that the relationship is based on.

“We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments,” the Democratic leadership wrote. “As Democrats and as Americans, the entire Congress must be fully engaged in denouncing and rejecting all forms of hatred, racism, prejudice and discrimination wherever they are encountered.”

Mr. McCarthy condemned the Democratic leadership for their silence on the matter prior to their statement being released.

“Republicans will take action this week to ensure the House speaks out against this hatred and stands with Israel and the Jewish people,” his statement read.