Amid building criticism in both parties over her statements on Israel, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) publicly apologized on Monday for a series of tweets which Jewish lawmakers had said wrongly given voice to anti-Semitic Jewish tropes, as the newly-elected Muslim Democrat from Minnesota said she never intended any harm.
“I unequivocally apologize,” Omar said.
“My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” Omar tweeted, an hour after Democratic leaders in the House delivered a stern public rebuke.
“Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive,” Pelosi and other top Democrats said in a blistering written statement issued on Monday afternoon.
“We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments,” Pelosi added, as numerous other Democrats joined in rebuking the freshman lawmaker from Minnesota.
These were the two tweets which netted Omar her rebuke:
The statement from Pelosi and other top Democrats came soon after House GOP leaders had said they would force a vote this week on the House floor to repudiate comments by Omar, as Republicans have been trying for days to highlight statements by Omar, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the other newly-elected Muslim in the U.S. House.
Republicans demanded that Omar be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, arguing that she should not be part of a panel which considers U.S. foreign policy in the Mideast.
“Anti-Semitism in any form is unacceptable, and it's shocking to hear a Member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of ‘Jewish money,'” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“The anti-Semitism that has long existed in the fringes has found its way to the United States Congress in the form of extreme liberals like Congresswoman Ilhan Omar,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).
“She did the right thing by apologizing to the Jewish community,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).