Omar Apologizes For Tweet Some Called Anti-Semitic, Stands By AIPAC Criticism

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., attends a rally on the East Front of the Capitol with groups including United We Dream, calling on Congress to defund Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Thursday, February 7, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Monday issued an apology for a tweet that was criticized as anti-Semitic, after many fellow Democrats, including party leadership, urged her to do so.

“We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity,” Omar said in a statement. “This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

At issue is Omar’s response to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) call that she face consequences from Democratic leadership for her views on Israel, which he compared to Rep. Steve King, who has associated with white supremacists in the past.

Quote-tweeting a criticism of McCarthy by journalist Glenn Greenwald, Omar wrote: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby 🎶.” After criticism that the tweet was anti-Semitic, Omar said she was referring to the political power of the pro-Israeli lobbying group AIPAC.

She referenced that criticism again after her apology Monday: “I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIRPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”

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