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Nancy Pelosi vs. Ilhan Omar

More than 200 American rabbis from the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) on Wednesday sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) demanded the immediate removal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The CJV advocates for “classical Jewish ideas and standards in matters of American public policy.” They claim that “American liberal Jewish movements have long abandoned Jewish tradition as their final arbiter of morality, and today declare that ‘Judaism’ requires support for positions at odds with the Bible itself.”


In contrast, the CJV begins from the premise that “something can be called an authentic Jewish value only if it is rooted in Biblical and Rabbinic teachings through millennia of Jewish history,” stressing that “neither spurious references to ‘Tikkun Olam’ nor the use of Biblical verses plucked out of context transform personal views into Jewish tenets.”

“Clearly, the worst public excesses of anti-Semitic sickness in America today are coming from progressive Democrats,” said CJV Western Regional Vice President Rabbi Dov Fischer. “Though they claim to be criticizing Israel’s policies, their clear intent is to delegitimize Jews and defense of Jewish lives. They impose on Israel and Jews double standards they impose on no one else. While Omar is hardly alone, she is universally recognized as the most egregious offender. Speaker Pelosi must act now to confront hatred in her Chamber and her political party, beginning by taking away Omar’s committee assignments.”

The rabbis’ letter reminded Pelosi that “in early 2019 when you placed Rep. Ilhan Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, we wrote that this appointment was ‘tantamount to saying that anti-Semitism is acceptable to the United States House of Representatives.’ When you condemned her anti-Semitic rhetoric a month later, we welcomed your words, but further said that they were ‘far too mild a response.’ We warned that failure to both declare Rep. Omar’s statements ‘beyond the realm of civil discourse’ and reverse her committee appointment would send the message to the world that you were ‘tolerating this hatred in the Democratic party.'”

The rabbis continued:

Rep. Omar’s unfounded assertion that Israel committed “unthinkable atrocities” by defending lives against an openly genocidal terror organization is not merely offensive, it is pernicious—for it is grounded in the blood libel and the calumny that Jews poisoned wells during the Black Death. Throughout the generations, rivers of blood have been shed by mobs motivated by the incendiary myth of the murderous Jew.
Without anything resembling a forceful response from the Democratic Party, tolerance of anti-Jewish hatred has proliferated. When 12 Jewish Democrats in the House rightfully denounced Rep. Omar’s abhorrent bigotry, the Congressional Progressive Caucus stooped to playing identity politics, cravenly insinuating that the motivation for the condemnation was opposition to Rep. Omar as a “Black, Muslim woman” rather than her antisemitic animus.
Jews are being attacked day and night on American streets by mobs incited by Rep. Omar’s rhetoric. Yet the Congressional Progressive Caucus claims that it is Rep. Omar who is facing “threats.” We are appalled.
Jews are being attacked day and night on American streets by mobs incited by Rep. Omar’s rhetoric. Yet the Congressional Progressive Caucus claims that it is Rep. Omar who is facing “threats.” We are appalled.
Rep. Omar has stated that you and your Congressional colleagues are incapable of objectively adjudicating her claims of “unthinkable atrocities” committed by the U.S. military; that is the basis for her demand that the International Criminal Court (ICC) intervene. Her later “clarification” contradicts what she said in committee, for she indeed equated democracies with terror organizations, and, importantly, the ICC’s purview does not extend to “democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.” If her “clarification” is to be taken at face value, it is an admission that her statements were baseless. Thus your reply that Rep. Omar “has a point that she wanted to make, and she has a right to make that point” is both acceptance of bigotry and an abdication of leadership.

The rabbis concluded:

Omar and those who stand with her within and beyond Congress. Rep. Omar’s words are far more dangerous in nature than those of Rep. [Marjorie Taylor] Greene, and, therefore, the vehement desire to combat antisemitism requires that they be met with at least equal consequence. To protect Jewish Americans and, moreover, safeguard the integrity of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, we thus insist upon the removal of Rep. Omar from her appointment.

Click here for the full letter and the names of the signatories.


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