Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, whose previous comments on Israel were condemned as anti-Semitic just weeks ago by senior members of her own party, is again under fire for suggesting Wednesday night that some politicians in Washington are “pushing for allegiance” to Israel.
Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who was seated next to Omar during her comments, made a similar remark in January, writing on Twitter that Senate Republicans were more loyal to Israel than their own country. The accusation that Jewish politicians could be vulnerable to having “dual loyalties” has been made for centuries in various contexts, and has been seen widely as a religious-based attack intent on undermining their leadership.
“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 to applause. “I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries, or big pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying movement that is influencing policy.”
Omar added that she believed she has been called anti-Semitic only because she is Muslim, and that her criticisms of Israel are reasonable and well founded.