Democrats Will Let Ilhan Omar Keep Committee Seats Despite Antisemitism

Ilhan Omar smile (Chip Somodevilla / Getty)
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democratic Party leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives will allow Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to retain her committee seats, including her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, despite her antisemitic comments Sunday alleging that Jews had bought Congress’s support for Israel.

Roll Call reported Monday evening (original links):

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he takes Omar at her word that she didn’t intend to be anti-Semitic when she said lawmakers took pro-Israel stances because of political contributions from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [sic].

Omar has “unequivocally” apologized for the comments — after Democratic leaders called on her to do so — saying she did not mean offense or to invoke an anti-Semitic trope about Jewish money. At the same time, the Minnesota Democrat affirmed her opposition to lobbyists like AIPAC being involved in politics.

AIPAC does not contribute to candidates. Moreover, Omar’s opposition to “lobbyists” is highly selective: earlier Sunday, prior to the controversy, she retweeted a statement of support from the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a lobbyist group.

In her “apology,” Omar resolved to continue criticizing AIPAC.

Republican leaders and some Jewish groups had called for Omar to be removed from her committees — as they had removed Rep. Steve King (R-IA) after he appeared to condone white supremacy and white nationalism in a New York Times interview, and even though King denied having done so.

Pelosi’s decision leaves a radical left-wing Democrat with a record of antisemitic statements in a position to affect the future of U.S.-Israel relations, thanks to her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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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