Rep. Ilhan Omar's (D-MN) anti-Israel remarks are so incendiary that her own fellow Minnesota Democrats have turned on her. They've heard one anti-Semitic comment too many, and they're ready to take the next step to remove her from Congress.
Since being sworn in in January, Omar has accused some of her fellow lawmakers of dual loyalty, or "allegiance to a foreign country," because of their support for Israel. Others she said were just in it for the money. "It's all about the Benjamins baby," she tweeted.
She'd held these sentiments long before arriving in Congress. Back in 2012 she tweeted that Israel has "hypnotized the world." Omar also supports the BDS movement, which calls for the boycott of Israeli goods and services. When she has been confronted about comments or positions like these, she either expresses confusion or runs away. When she has tried to apologize for the remarks, she adds footnotes.
“Our community is exasperated by Rep. Omar’s unfulfilled promises to listen and learn from Jewish constituents while seemingly simultaneously finding another opportunity to make an anti-Semitic remark and insult our community,” Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, said in a recent statement.
He added Omar has met with him on occasion, but that doesn't change the fact that he and other Jewish leaders in Minnesota are "appalled."
So appalled, in fact, that they are seeking a primary challenger to boot Omar from Congress.
State Sen. Ron Latz (D), who represents part of Omar's district and has accused her of making herself look like "a pariah," said there's "definitely some buzz going around" about a challenger. There are even a couple contenders: State Senator Bobby Joe Champion, and Minneapolis City Councilwoman Andrea Jenkins, the first openly transgender African-American woman elected to public office in the U.S.
It is a tall task to unseat Omar, however, considering only two House members from Minnesota have ever lost primaries.
Democrats in Washington are just as peeved. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) called some of her Jewish stereotypes "vile" and party leadership released a statement condemning her remarks. But when it came time to vote on a measure to condemn anti-Semitism, those same leaders bowed to pressure from Omar and expanded the resolution to include more forms of bigotry. That was not the point of the vote, Republicans charged.