Politics

Ocasio-Cortez Rants in Defense of Omar — and Against ‘White or Male’ Colleagues

Democrat socialist backs up her embattled friend amid the latest allegations of anti-Semitism against the lawmaker

Image Credit: Shutterstock & Alex Wong/Getty Image

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) came to embattled Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) defense amid her latest round of anti-Semitism allegations in a series of tweets on Tuesday as she slammed her “white or male” House colleagues.

Omar (pictured above right) is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress and is the first Somali-American in Congress.

Omar made her latest bout of perceived anti-Semitic comments during an event in Washington, D.C., last week.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said, apparently referencing Israel.

“I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA [National Rifle Association], of fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma — and not talk about a powerful lobbying movement that is influencing policy,” Omar continued.

Republicans and Democrats alike swiftly denounced Omar’s remarks — and some demanded she apologize.

But Omar doubled down on Twitter on Monday.

She complained that “I am told every day that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks.”

House Democrats are preparing to vote on a resolution addressing Omar’s remarks on Wednesday, according to Politico.

They reportedly began crafting the resolution over the weekend as they discussed how to reprimand her for her troubling comments.

President Donald Trump also slammed Omar on Twitter late Monday night.

“Representative Ilhan Omar is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel. Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!” Trump wrote.

But Ocasio-Cortez (above left) came to her friend’s defense in a series of tweets on Tuesday as she ranted against other House colleagues.

“One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Related: Dershowitz Slams ‘Anti-American’ Omar for Latest ‘Anti-Israel’ Comments, Hopes She’s Defeated in 2020

“It’s not my position to tell people how to feel, or that their hurt is invalid. But incidents like these do beg the question: where are the resolutions against homophobic statements? For anti-blackness? For xenophobia? For a member saying he’ll ‘send Obama home to Kenya?'” she added.

She was apparently referring to comments of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) from several years back.

Ocasio-Cortez agreed that everyone “should actively check anti-Semitism, anti-blackness, homophobia, racism, and all other forms of bigotry.”

But she argued that “the most productive end goal when we see it is to educate and heal.”

“‘Calling out’ is one of the measures of last resort, not 1st or 2nd resort. We do it when repeated attempts to ‘call in’ are disrespected or ignored. And I believe that Ilhan, in her statement a few weeks ago, has demonstrated a willingness to listen + work w/impacted communities,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

She was referring to Omar’s response in February after she was called out for her anti-Semitic remarks.

Omar suggested on Twitter that money from pro-Israel lobbyists drove Republican support for — and the defense of — Israel.

In particular, she pointed to the lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

House Democratic leaders released a statement condemning her remarks at the time.

Omar did apologize on Twitter. But she warned, “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.”

Ocasio-Cortez also used the opportunity to take a swipe at her white and male colleagues.

“I often think about how I work with white or male allies when they say something insensitive. The 1st thing I do is pull them aside + say, ‘Hey, you may not be aware of X thing regarding Latinx people, but here is the history and it’s hurtful. If you want to learn more, read Y,'” the New York congresswoman tweeted.

“And don’t even get me started on misogyny,” she continued.

“If we called resolutions on sexist statements, a good chunk of Congress would be gone. To jump to the nuclear option every time leaves no room for corrective action. So I ask everyone that we practice calling in before calling out.”

Check out more in the video below:

Join the Discussion

COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.