Ilhan Omar Apologizes for Statements Condemned as Anti-Semitic

Representative Ilhan Omar, who has been battling charges of anti-Semitism for weeks, apologized on Monday for insinuating that American support for Israel is fueled by money from a pro-Israel lobbying group — a comment that drew swift and unqualified condemnation from fellow Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.The mea culpa by Ms. Omar, a freshman lawmaker from Minnesota and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, came after a day of bipartisan outrage over her tweet Sunday night asserting that support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins baby,” a reference to hundred-dollar bills.

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Ms. Omar said in a statement released on Twitter, about an hour after Ms. Pelosi and the entire Democratic leadership publicly chastised her for engaging in “deeply offensive” anti-Semitic tropes.

“My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” Ms. Omar wrote, adding, “I unequivocally apologize.”

The verbal altercation between Ms. Pelosi and Ms. Omar was only the latest example of the speaker stepping in to try to keep her diverse and unruly caucus in line. She finagled her own election to the speakership, threw some subtle cold water on Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ambitious “Green New Deal” and tamped down aggressive talk of impeaching President Trump. In the coming days she may again have to step in to pass an immigration and border security deal that is likely to anger the most liberal wing of the House.

 Read more at New York Times

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