After pushback over a House resolution conceived to shame Rep. Ilhan Omar for her criticisms of pro-Israel lobbying groups, House Democrats now say that the resolution will also include condemnation of anti-Muslim sentiments, according to the New York Times.
Though the resolution doesn’t call out Omar by name, it was obviously inspired by controversy over her recent comments. The latest complaints of anti-Semitism against Omar came after she gave a talk at a D.C. bookstore.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” she said at the event.
Omar never mentioned Jews either in her comments at the bookstore, or in her tweets last month. But nevertheless, some saw Omar’s use of the word “allegiance” as a reference to the long-running anti-Semitic theory that Jews have a “dual loyalty” to the U.S. and Israel.
The draft of the resolution states that “accusing Jews of dual loyalty because they support Israel, whether out of a religious connection, a commitment to Jewish self-determination after millennia of persecution or an appreciation for shared values and interests, suggests that Jews cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors, when Jews have served our nation since its founding, whether in public life or military service.”
Not all activists weren’t were willing to go along with the narrative pushed by both Democrats and Republicans that Omar’s comments were purposefully anti-Semitic, according to the Times.
“Our generation refuses to ignore the shameful role the out-of-touch leaders in our community have played in elevating the attack on Ilhan,” IfNotNow said in a statement. “Instead of combating the most severe dangers against Jews and all marginalized people, our Jewish and political leaders are attacking one of the first Muslim women in Congress.”
“We agree with and support the sentiments expressed in the resolution which House Democratic leadership plans to introduce this week in opposition to anti-Semitism. We support members voting for this resolution to show their agreement with these sentiments,” progressive Jewish think tank J Street said in a statement.
“[But] by narrowly focusing on progressive critics of Israeli policy and the politics surrounding Israel-related issues, much of our current debate bears little relation to the reality of anti-Semitism in the United States today. This plays directly into the hands of the president and his allies, who act in bad faith to weaponize the debate for political gain,” the statement continued.
Democrats will apparently delay a vote on the resolution until Thursday while they update the draft.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn told reporters he wanted the resolution to emphasize an “anti-hate” message, according to The Hill.
Democratic shpilkes over the resolution—which never needed to exist in the first place—is now providing Republicans a perfect opportunity to slam Democrats on their supposed tolerance for anti-semitism, as J Street’s statement predicts.
“I’m hearing that they are even going to pull back on their resolution that didn’t even mention her - that they are afraid they can’t even pass that,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters today, according to The Hill. “That’s what I was just told on the floor, which to me is very concerning.”
Of course McCarthy and his fellow Republicans aren’t really concerned about anti-Semitism in Congress. But this is what is to be expected when Democrats cave to concern trolls in both their party and on the right. Once you concede to these craven assholes, there’s no going back.