Democrats Scramble to Limit Damage from Ilhan Omar’s Antisemitic Remarks After ADL Criticism

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference in the House Visitors Center at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on November 30, 2018. Flanking her are: Representatives-elect Ilhan Omar, D-MN, and Susan Wild, D-PA. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Democratic Party leaders scrambled Monday to limit the continuing political damage from ongoing antisemitic remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the party to take action.

Last month, Omar was forced to apologize after saying that pro-Israel members of Congress had been bought by organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which does not donate to candidates.

However, last week, Omar accused pro-Israel Americans of holding “allegiance to a foreign country.” Rep. Eliot Engel, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee — to which Omar was appointed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — called Omar’s comments a “vile anti-Semitic slur” and asked her to retract and apologize. Instead, Omar doubled down in a series of tweets on Sunday: “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,” she declared.

The ADL, run by former Obama administration official Jonathan Greenblatt, typically leans left and has been very critical of the Trump administration. Greenblatt was criticized last month for rushing to accept an “apology” from Omar for past antisemitic remarks — even though Omar had not actually apologized. But on Monday, the ADL said:

Following the ADL’s criticism, NBC News reported Monday that House Democratic leaders will propose a resolution Wednesday opposing antisemitism, in response to Omar’s remarks. It was not clear whether the resolution would single out Omar or her remarks.

Last month, Pelosi resisted calls to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, claiming that President Donald Trump had not distanced himself from antisemitism.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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