House Republican leaders on Thursday urged their Democratic colleagues to denounce newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for her past anti-Israeli statements.
Omar has been a vocal critic of the Jewish state and has supported the far-Left Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The House Republican leadership called out her statements following her appointment to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said the movement she supports is anti-Semitic.
“I would love to know what changed, because Democratic leaders just promoted a pro-BDS Democrat to a key committee that deals with the State of Israel,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Anti-Semitism has no place in Congress and certainly not on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. I am deeply disappointed in Speaker Pelosi’s choice, a choice that threatens the committee’s long history of bipartisan support for Israel.”
McCarthy added that Democratic leaders condemned the BDS movement in the past. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said lawmakers must oppose the movement against Israel as recently as 2017. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) even called the movement anti-Semitic and profoundly biased.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) also issued statements urging their colleagues across the aisle to condemn the remarks. Scalise said it was a disgrace that someone with a history of anti-Semitic rhetoric would be given such a key seat.
“Rather than standing up against the disturbing rise of anti-Semitic rhetoric on the Left, House Democrats have now just endorsed that ideology,” Scalise said in a statement. “House Democrats need to address why they are endorsing these views by rewarding Rep. Omar with this important committee seat.”
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Omar has made numerous comments in support of the movement over the past year or so. She said the movement was good for putting up pressure against Israel but risked hurting dialogue that could resolve the Palestinian dispute. Her campaign later told the online publication Muslim Girl that she does supports the movement but has reservations on its effectiveness November 11.
Omar also voted against a resolution condemning the movement back when she was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.
More recently, she called a bill by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) condemning the movement unconstitutional. She has also reportedly called Israel as an “apartheid regime.”
Omar did not respond to a request for comment by LifeZette.
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