‘I’ve found those two new freshmen members to be thoughtful colleagues on a wide variety of issues…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Democratic leaders are doubling down and defending freshman Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who each have a history of anti-Semitism.
Both Tlaib and Omar have drawn criticism from Republicans for supporting the anti-Israeli boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Tlaib even tried to get Congress to cancel its traditional trip to Israel, asking leadership to send its members to the Palestinian territories instead.
When asked about the rising anti-Semitism in Congress, House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., defended his colleagues.
“Clearly, I condemn anti-Semitism,” he said at a press briefing, according to The Hill. “I don’t know that I draw the conclusion, however, that those attacking those two members are correct that they [Tlaib and Omar] are anti-Semitic. I don’t accept that premise.”
Omar, however, said in an old tweet that “Israel has hypnotized the world” to carry out “evil,” and said last week that she didn’t realize her comments were offensive to Jewish people.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 16, 2012
“It’s now apparent to me that I spent lots of energy putting my 2012 tweet in context and little energy in disavowing the anti-Semitic trope I unknowingly used, which is unfortunate and offensive,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
However, she doubled down on her rhetorical assault on Israel and said she would not stop being openly critical of the Jewish state’s military responses to terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah.
Republicans in the House sharply criticized Democratic leadership for placing Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, considering her attitude toward Israel.
But House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., defended Tlaib and Omar: “I’ve found those two new freshmen members to be thoughtful colleagues on a wide variety of issues.”
Tlaib claimed that Republicans are only critical of her because she’s a Muslim.
“It’s because I’m Muslim, Palestinian,” she said. “I mean, I’m a human being here as a mom, as an advocate and all these things. And I’m an equal to them now.”