Following the comments of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) equating US and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, two groups of House Republicans sent letters on Friday to Democratic leaders demanding that she be removed from her committee seats, Jewish Insider reported.
A letter written by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) states that Omar’s remarks are “anti-American, antisemitic and bigoted” and made “a truly heinous false equivalence.” Omar, who has a “track record of hate speech,” has “stooped to a new low.”
“Given Representative Omar’s history of engaging in this type of conduct, House Democratic leadership must take immediate and meaningful action to remove her from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,” the letter continues. “We consider anything less to be a form of complicity.”
The letter was signed by GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Reps. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), August Pfluger (R-TX), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Bill Johnson (R-OH).
The second letter, written by Gimenez, also addressed to Pelosi and calling for Omar to be removed from her committee posts, says that Omar is guilty of “fueling antisemitic violence against Jewish communities.”
“[Omar’s Foreign Affairs seat] sends a dangerous signal to our allies and our adversaries alike that the United States tolerates anti-Semitism, that we no longer believe in the long-term mission of supporting free peoples and free markets, and that we no longer remain committed to combatting acts of terror against the United States or our allies,” the letter states. “Congresswoman Omar’s views of American foreign policy are dangerous to our national interest.”
The second letter was signed by Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Fred Upton (R-MI), Chris Jacobs (R-NY) and Young Kim (R-CA), as well as Malliotakis and Salazar.
“Speaker Pelosi has made it clear her belief is that it is the responsibility of each party’s leadership to hold Members of Congress accountable for their perverse comments and actions,” Gimenez said in a statement. “It is time for Speaker Pelosi to rise up to the standard she placed on herself and hold Congresswoman Omar accountable.”
Both letters also express a lack of willingness to accept Omar’s “clarification” of her remarks on Thursday, stating that Omar has previously made “hollow and meaningless apolog[ies] with the sole purpose of appeasing her party’s leadership” and her comments lack contrition.
Republicans may hold a floor vote this week to remove her from her Foreign Affairs seat or censure her.
“I certainly don’t think that option [is] off the table,” Gimenez spokesperson Danny Javita told Jewish Insider. “Right now, we are focused on ensuring Speaker Pelosi holds herself to her own standards and holds Rep. Omar accountable.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)