- Reuters/Eric Miller
- Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar apologized for recent tweets on Israel and a pro-Israel lobbying group after facing a wave of criticism on social media.
- Omar’s apology came after Democratic leaders issued a statement condemning her remarks.
- “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,” Omar said. “This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar on Monday apologized for tweets decried as anti-Semitic after she sparked a firestorm of criticism, including from fellow Democrats.
On Sunday, Omar sent a series of tweets that suggested politicians in Congress have been bought off by pro-Israel groups like the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, also known as AIPAC. Many accused her of playing into the stereotype that Jews use money to control politics.
Responding to this criticism in a statement shared via Twitter, Omar said, “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. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
Listening and learning, but standing strong ???????? pic.twitter.com/7TSroSf8h1
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Omar in her statement also emphasized concerns regarding the influence of lobbyists in Washington, including AIPAC, and said “we must be willing” to address such issues.
“I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry,” the freshman Minnesota member of Congress stated.
Omar, who came to the US as a Somali refugee, is among the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress in US history. As she’s faced allegations of anti-Semitism regarding her criticism of Israel and its policy toward Palestine, she’s accused a number of her critics of Islamophobia.
Her Monday apology came not long after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders issued a statement referring to Omar’s tweets as “deeply offensive.” The statement called on Omar to apologize.
“Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive,” the statement said. “We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”
In a separate tweet, Pelosi said, “In our conversation today, Congresswoman Omar and I agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.”