House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued Wednesday that Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D., Minn.) suggestion that her pro-Israel colleagues have a dual loyalty to Israel and the U.S. was not “intentionally anti-Semitic.”
We just caught up w @SpeakerPelosi on Omar ...— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) March 6, 2019
She said she isn’t sure a resolution will get a vote this week. She said foreign affairs committee is writing it.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) March 6, 2019
PELOSI just told us she did not think @IlhanMN’s comments were “intentionally anti Semitic”— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) March 6, 2019
The comments came after House Democrats had what was described by WaPo as a “full scale brawl” over a resolution condemning religious bigotry, which indirectly rebukes Omar’s anti-Semitism.
“We’ve individually and collectively already responded to the fact that we oppose all ‘-isms’ that do not treat people in this country fairly and justly,” Representative Bonnie Watson-Coleman (D., N.J.) said during the meeting, WaPo reports. “To continue to engage in this discussion is simply an opportunity to give both the media and Republicans distractions from our agenda. We’ve got important work to do.”
Pelosi said she was unsure of whether the resolution, which was amended to include an anti-Muslim bias provision, will be voted on this week.
During an event in Washington, D.C., last week, Omar defended her criticisms of Israel, which have come under fire from Democrats and Republicans alike.
"What I am fearful of, because both Rashida and I are Muslim, is that a lot of our Jewish colleagues and constituents go to thinking that everything we say about Israel is anti-Semitic because we are Muslim," Omar said. "It's something designed to end the debate."
"It's almost as if every time we say something that is supposed to be about foreign policy, or advocacy about ending oppression, or the freeing of every human life, we get to be labeled and that ends the discussion," she continued. "We end up defending that and nobody gets to have the broader debate about what is happening with Palestine."
"I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," Omar said.