U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has endorsed Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for re-election in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, announced Omar’s campaign on Monday.
In touting endorsements from Pelosi and Minnesota House of Representatives Speaker Melissa Hortman, Omar’s campaign said in a statement that the congresswoman “now has the support of the Democratic leaders of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Minnesota legislature, representing the support of the state and national Democratic party at the highest levels.”
Omar has perpetuated anti-Semitic tropes on Twitter and introduced a resolution in Congress that promotes boycotts of Israel, likening them to boycotts of Nazi Germany.
In February 2019, a month after being sworn in, Omar accused AIPAC of paying members of Congress to back Israel, saying it was “all about the Benjamins.”
The following month, she pointed fingers at her “Jewish colleagues” for attacking her Tlaib for labeling their criticisms as anti-Israel because of the Muslim faith of the two congresswomen, in addition to slamming her critics regarding “the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
This led to the passing of a House resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred that did not call out Omar by name.
In response to Omar’s dual-loyalty accusation, Pelosi said at the time, “I don’t think our colleague is anti-Semitic. I think she has a different experience in the use of words [and] doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning.”
Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks rebuked the endorsement.
“It’s sad and disappointing how little the leadership of the Democratic Party cares about standing up to anti-Semitism within their ranks,” he told JNS. “For Nancy Pelosi to endorse Ilhan Omar, who has trafficked in virulent anti-Semitic comments and has been one of the most vocal anti-Israel members of Congress, sends a message to the Jewish community that the Democratic Party just doesn’t care.”
Democratic Majority for Israel president and CEO Mark Mellman responded to Brooks, saying, “like Nancy Pelosi, we have condemned Congresswoman Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks. We appreciate her strong stand against them and her long and strong support for the U.S.-Israel relationship, as well as Jewish interests in America and around the world.”