Muslim Democrat apologizes after Pelosi rebuke over anti-Semitic tweets

The tweets implied that members of Congress are being paid by a powerful interest group to support Israel.

Omar responded to the tweet and wrote, "AIPAC!".

House Democratic leaders are calling on Representative Ilhan Omar, D, to apologise for what many saw as anti-Semitic comments perpetuating the exhausted stereotype that Jews control politics with money.

The freshman Democrat came under a massive wave of bipartisan backlash Monday after she implied that pro-Israel lobbyist groups, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, were using campaign contributions to influence USA lawmakers.

"At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics", she said via twitter.

"That goes right into the anti-Semitic bias which has plagued the world for too long", King said.

Omar's tweets drew a rebuke from Democratic House leaders, who called on her to apologize on Monday.

The statement was issued in response to a tweet Omar sent Sunday, in which she suggested her colleagues' support for Israel could be attributed to the financial influence of Jewish donors and groups like the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Earlier on Monday, leading House Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, condemned Omar's comments in a statement and called on her to apologise.

Omar is one of a handful of high-profile freshmen Democratic women, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY and Rashida Tlaib of MI, who often use social media to speak to their followers and lash out at criticism.

Monday, congressional members, including some Democrats, are critizing her comments.

When Tlaib used profanity on the day she was sworn in to threaten the president with impeachment, Pelosi said she has a "generational" aversion to such language, but she's "not in the business of censorship".

Aipac's website says it offers a congressional club membership that requires "political contributions in a clearly pro-Israel context to candidates". Freshman Democrat Rep. Max Rose, from NY, tweeted her comments were "deeply hurtful to Jews".

Here is Katherine Clark meeting with Netanyahu and the rightwing settler-supporting ambassador, David Friedman, along with Nancy Pelosi and Hakeem Jeffries and other Democrats previous year, even as Israel was shooting nonviolent demonstrators at the Gaza border. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of NY condemned Omar's tweets Monday morning.

Still, some who agree with Omar's position on Israel argued that she could criticise the Israeli government or the pro-Israel lobbying establishment without using stereotypes that Jews find offensive.

"When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes and words against people of any faith, I will not be silent", he wrote, adding: "Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive enough".

"Rep. Ilhan Omar is due to speak alongside senior Islamic Relief USA official Yousef Abdallah, who was widely criticized in 2017 after the Middle East Forum found he had expressed violently anti-Semitic ideas on his social media accounts".

"I fully expect that when we disagree on the Foreign Affairs Committee, we will debate policy on the merits and never question members' motives or resort to personal attacks", he said.

  • Rogelio Becker