US House broadly condemns hate amid divide over Ilhan Omar

Republicans generally joined in the favorable vote, though almost two-dozen opposed the measure, one calling it a "sham".

Among the Republican dissenters, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the GOP leadership, called the resolution "a sham put forward by Democrats to avoid condemning one of their own and denouncing vile anti-Semitism". But even Democrats who voted for the resolution, objected to the final watered-down version.

A resolution that started out as a condemnation of anti-Semitism passed the House on Thursday after several contentious days that saw denunciations of Islamophobia, white supremacy, and other forms of bigotry and prejudice added to the bill. I think we deserved it.

Host Sandra Smith played a clip of President Donald Trump's labeling the Democrats an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish party.

"Dual loyalty?" Rep. Ted Deutch asked in a tweet.

The Wisconsin lawmaker said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the resolution passed in the House that broadly condemned all forms of hate was an effort to "protect" Omar.

On Friday, she double down, saying, "I don't think our colleague is anti-Semitic" but that she "didn't realize" that her words were "fraught with meaning". The new lawmaker sparked a weeklong debate in Congress as fellow Democrats said her comments have no place in the party.

Pelosi said the broadening of the resolution didn't weaken it in her appearance with The Economic Club.

Many Democrats objected that it was wrong to only condemn Omar's anti-Semitic statements when she herself has faced bigotry as a Muslim.

"Today is historic on many fronts", they wrote. As a regular contributor to discussions of issues that are capturing headlines in the news, Meghan McCain became emotional when addressing the rising tide of global anti-Semitism and especially the reprehensible utterings of Rep Omar. Criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians has grown in volume and scope, with persistent calls for boycotts and disinvestment. If critics of Israel ever wonder why so many Israel supporters seem suspicious of their motives with regard to Jews, it's because this trick has become so common. But Omar has not apologized for what this latest comment. Omar knows precisely what she's saying, which is why she keeps saying it.

The language Omar is using hurts her cause and the Democratic party. But in dealing with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Democrats are blowing their chance.

AIPAC does not make campaign contributions to USA lawmakers, but many of its members individually do. And it's worth noting that many on the Right, including me, excoriated Trump for Charlottesville, and for his 2016 flirtation with the alt-right (I earned the coveted Most Targeted Jew Award from the ADL that year for my trouble).

But polls and interviews with the Democratic grassroots show that the move may have simply slapped a Band-Aid on a festering wound.

Pelosi made the remarks defending Omar just head of Thursday's House vote.

The House resolution should have been limited to reprimanding Omar in this instance. "She deserves to be rebuked, by name, and removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee so that there is no mistake about the values and priorities that the House stands for".

She said the controversy afforded Democrats the opportunity to unequivocally denounce bigotry, attempting to draw a distinction with the U.S. president.

  • Rogelio Becker