The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) expressed disappointment, deep offense, even fear and a sense of betrayal after the votes of 211 Members of Congress to support Rep. Ilhan Omar, an antisemite and hater of Israel and America. Thanks to 218 Republican members of the House, Omar was removed from the Foreign Affairs committee, but it is outrageous that Democratic members, including many Jews, placed their partisan concerns above the need to remove a clearly bigoted member of the committee, who is promoting and legitimizing antisemitism and Israel-bashing.
Contrary to the talking points being spread by some, this was not a case of retaliation or partisan revenge. The absurd idea that she is being singled out because she is a Black African Muslim woman immigrant is clearly false. No one has tried to remove other Muslims, immigrants, or African American Representatives from their committees. Some media outlets seem to believe race is the cause of everything in America, but the example of Speaker McCarthy removing the ultra-White Rep. Eric Swalwell and White Jewish Rep. Adam Schiff from the Select Committee on Intelligence proves this analysis is absurd.
The comments made by Rep. Omar were recognized by many Democratic members of Congress to be intolerable and completely unacceptable, and she herself made a fake apology for her words following the uproar her comments provoked. ZOA supported her removal for these outrageous comments. This week, though, she proved that her apology was insincere. Omar claimed on CNN that she was unaware that the word “hypnotized” and conspiracy theories about Jews and money are anti-Jewish tropes.
“I might have used words at the time that I didn’t understand were trafficking in antisemitism.”
Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, said:
“Her protestations of ignorance have drawn widespread incredulity and scorn. In fact, they imply something more unpalatable than being disingenuous.
“Omar thought that what others know to be Jew-hating tropes couldn’t be prejudice because they’re true. So, when she says she didn’t think these tropes constituted antisemitism, she reveals just how antisemitic she actually is.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:
“I am outraged, and as the child of Holocaust survivors, actually frightened, by the betrayal of almost half the members of the House of Representatives who so quickly de-prioritize their disapproval of antisemitism in voting to support this Jew-hating member of Congress. It is shocking that partisan concerns are more important than their core American values.
“This is particularly true for the 27 Jewish members of Congress. I am sorry to observe the fact that all the votes for Omar came from the Democratic side of the aisle, making a mockery of the supposed concern for Israel and against antisemitism in the party.
“If Omar had never said a single antisemitic word in her life, she still should have been removed from the Foreign Affairs committee, because she is so anti-American and does not believe Israel should even exist. She opposes all sanctions against Iran, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, but believes in one exception – Israel should be boycotted and sanctioned. She has asked judges for sympathy for convicted ISIS terrorists. She has condemned Jews for caring more about Israel than America. She speaks at CAIR conferences even though they have sympathies to terrorist groups and hate and condemn America’s greatest ally. Her removal from this committee is earned by her own outrageous conduct.”
ZOA Director of Government Relations Dan Pollak said:
“ZOA is non-partisan, and it is painful to observe that all of the votes to support this Jew-hating Congresswoman came from the Democrats in the House. It is sad that pro-Israel members, who will privately express their belief that her comments are completely antisemitic, join with the most extreme members of the so-called ‘Squad,’ to defend Omar’s hateful, bigoted words. As Americans, we take offense that these members of Congress could not place their country before party when it comes to standing against Jew-hatred and hatred against America’s greatest ally, the Jewish State of Israel.”