Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, on Monday added his name to the list of House Democrats criticizing freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for what he said was her trafficking in “old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money.”
The story started with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who compared Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) criticisms of Israel to Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who frequently aligns himself with white nationalists. “If they do not take action I think you’ll see action from myself,” McCarthy told reporters, referring to disciplinary action he wanted Democratic leaders to take against the congresswomen.
On Twitter, Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald said the comparison was “obscene.” “It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans,” he wrote.
Quoting Greenwald’s tweet, Omar added: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby 🎶”
It's all about the Benjamins baby 🎶 https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
Later responding to a criticism of the tweet, which many viewed as referencing an anti-Semitic trope about Jews buying political sway, Omar clarified that it was a criticism of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Nadler joined several other House Democrats who’ve criticized Omar, joining Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Elaine Luria (D-VA), Max Rose (D-NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) and others in criticizing the tweets.
Nadler said in his statement Monday: “While of course our nation’s leaders are free to debate the relative influence of a particular organization on our country’s policy-making process, or the factors that make our system of governance imperfect, there is an expectation of leaders—particularly those with a demonstrated commitment to the cause of justice and equality—that they would be extremely careful not to tread into the waters of anti-Semitism or any other form of prejudice or hate. Rep. Omar failed that test of leadership with these comments.”
Later in the statement, Nadler said “the strong bi-partisan support of Israel in this country is a hallmark of our nation’s commitment to the ideals of democracy and self-determination.”
Republicans have jumped on the congresswoman’s comments. House Republicans’ campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement Monday: “Anti-Semitism and bigotry have no place in American politics. It’s time for Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats to get serious about the problem within their caucus, and removing Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee is the first step.”
Omar has responded to the criticisms in part by telling Chelsea Clinton: “We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith.”
👋🏽 Chelsea – I would be happy to talk. We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith.
I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you. 💪🏽 https://t.co/EGA9NQfBCi
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
She’s also retweeted politicos and journalists:
So we’re just gonna pretend Sheldon Adelson doesn’t exist, and that Kevin McCarthy is trying to punish @IlhanMN out of sincere commitment to the wellbeing of us Jews? Cool, cool. https://t.co/oFa3R3Prw0
— Adam Jentleson 🎈 (@AJentleson) February 11, 2019
accurately describing how the Israel lobby works is not anti-semitism https://t.co/30M6rVmeJb
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) February 11, 2019
We call @IlhanMN & @RashidaTlaib "the first Muslim women elected to Congress" because the first Muslim was @keithellison. He was also viciously vilified as an anti-Semite – by the DNC's largest billionaire donor. Perhaps there's a pattern to be seen here? https://t.co/EW1ARYZVp4
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 11, 2019
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