South Florida’s Jewish lawmakers denounce colleague’s anti-Semitic tweets

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Exclusive— Kevin McCarthy If Pelosi Won’t Stand Up to Democrat Anti-Semitism Republicans Will Getty AP Images9 Feb 2019Washington DC

Several Democrats and Republicans spoke out to say Omar's prejudicial accusations were wrong about why lawmakers support Israel, arguing that the support is based on shared values and strategic interests. She said in a tweet she was "listening and learning, but standing strong".

"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 has been consistent in her criticism for Israel and is a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

I very recently defended Omar and her fellow Muslim representative, Rashida Tlaib, against McCarthy's attacks, but I can not countenance her attribution of pro-Israeli attitudes, within and beyond the Republican Party, to the "Jewish lobby", however it's defined.

The statement came after Omar tweeted over the weekend that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is paying members of Congress to support Israel.

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Omar's mea culpa followed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's call that the freshman Democrat immediately apologize for the tweets. Responding to an article about how House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was considering punishing Omar and another Muslim congresswoman, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) over their antisemitic comments, Omar wrote, "It's all about the Benjamins [money] baby".

They are turning public support for Israel - which largely had been bipartisan and religiously pluralistic - into an effort propelled by members of one political party and one religious worldview. In 2012, before she was in Congress, Omar said Israel was "hypnotizing" the world, a comment for which she has since apologized.

Other Minnesota groups were critical of Omar.

"There is no place in our country for anti-Semitic comments".

Max Rose, who won a tight race in NY, said the Democratic Party and the USA should be a place where "we celebrate the diversity of our people".

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Omar has received heavy criticism in recent weeks for making a slew of negative comments about Israel and Jews, including comparing Israel to Iran.

New Jersey's Josh Gottheimer said Omar hasn't accepted his offer to meet with her to talk about the damage that can be done by reinforcing negative tropes. "But to go a step further and retweet someone declaring their pain at her sentiment is simply unacceptable".

It's not the first backlash the freshman from Minneapolis has faced during her short tenure in Congress. "Her apology is not accepted".

But on Sunday, some Democrats also joined a chorus of critics rebuking Omar for using what some described as an ugly anti-Semitic trope: that Jews control politics through money.

The Anti-Defamation League, a national organization that tracks and responds to anti-Semitism, said Omar's tweets were a "retread of ideas spread by bigots from David Duke to Louis Farrakhan".

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Indeed, Martin Luther King, Jr. himself was a prominent supporter of Israel, saying that "Peace for Israel means security", that "we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity", and that Israel was "one of the great outposts of democracy in the world".

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