A new resolution that does not specifically condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar (Dem-Min.), but includes a long list of “whereas” statements condemning anti-Semitic speech and action, is in the works, Roll Call reported on Monday. The resolution is being drafted by the staff of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch.
On Wednesday, the House Democrats will propose the resolution, which will condemn anti-Semitism in a manner that responds directly to Omar’s attacks on Israel, a senior Democratic aide told PBS News.
Responding to Omar’s recent accusation of US Jews holding “dual loyalties,” the Democratic draft says, “Whereas accusations of dual loyalty generally have an insidious, bigoted history,” citing the scourge of the Japanese internment, the Dreyfuss affair and the treatment of Muslim Americans after 9/11.
The Republicans have accused Omar of anti-Semitism, but most Democrats have not. Instead, they condemned her Tweets attacking Jewish influence on US politics, particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Omar has apologized—at least tacitly—for those posts, but not for the dual loyalty slur, also a common anti-Semitic line of attack.
Omar serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and many in both parties are calling on Democratic leaders to take away that assignment. Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel, who is Jewish, has issued a statement last Friday saying Omar had made “a vile anti-Semitic slur.” But Engel stopped short of calling for her removal from his committee, although it did sound as if he was threatening it if Omar did not put an end to her offensive remarks.
Engel’s statement said: “It’s unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
So Omar upped the ante, tweeting: “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”
The Democrats are very much between the rock and the hard place, reluctant to alienate either constituency – Jews and Muslims. Punishing Omar by removing her from a committee that’s chaired by a Jew could prove costly. At the same time, failing to sanction effectively a racist loudmouth also comes with a cost.
Also, if anyone was hoping that Omar would consider her future in the party and stop attacking Jews – that’s not likely, since she has already pinned her future on her anti-Semitism disguised as criticism of Zionists.
That, too, is a common anti-Semitic line.