Omar Releases Statement After Backlash Surrounding Tweet Accusing AIPAC Of Buying Pro-Israel Support
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar released a statement on Monday afternoon after facing backlash for accusing a pro-Israel lobbying group of buying Congressional support in exchange for backing Israel.
Her insinuation was met with widespread condemnation from both sides of the aisle from members of Congress, including Speaker Pelosi who called it “anti-Semitic” and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. (RELATED: Omar Retweets Statement Equating Her Israel Comments With Calling Jews ‘Hooked-Nosed’)
Listening and learning, but standing strong pic.twitter.com/7TSroSf8h1
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
“Anti-Semitism is real, and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” her statement reads. “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. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
It continued, “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”
It’s all about the Benjamins baby https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
Her apology comes not only after Pelosi’s condemnation, but after House Democrats Rep. Josh Gottheimer and Rep. Elaine Luria circulated a letter addressed to Democratic leadership trying to convince them to address anti-Semitism.
Omar has made numerous statements critical of Israel, including some that have been labeled as anti-Semitic. She has admitted support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement, implied that Israel is not a democracy, and has previously accused Israel of “[hypnotizing] the world,” although she has since apologized for it.