The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) published a statement of support on Wednesday for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who has been widely condemned for her remarks equating the US and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban, Politico reported.
“Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is a valued member of the Congressional Black Caucus Family, she represents a strong voice on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,” the CBC statement said.
“Furthermore, we appreciate her clarification of her recent remarks and find that this is another example of Republicans taking it out of context to shift the real attention from the abhorrent, disrespectful, and intemperate remarks of members of their own Conference.”
Also on Wednesday, Republicans backed away from censuring Omar. A Republican attempt to strip Omar of her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee would distract from Democratic divisions over her recent remarks, a top GOP aide said Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe closed-door conversations.
Omar last week tweeted about “unthinkable atrocities” committed by the United States, Israel, Hamas and the Taliban. House Democratic leaders and a dozen Jewish Democratic lawmakers complained that those remarks drew a false and damaging equivalence between the two countries and the hard-line groups. Omar later said she was not drawing “a moral comparison.”
Omar’s comments had prompted progressive lawmakers to rally around her and criticize their Democratic colleagues for mistreating women of color in the party, in an embarrassing display of divisiveness. “Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia,” tweeted Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo. Omar is one of two Muslim women in Congress.
Even so, several Democrats said any GOP effort to strip Omar of her committee assignments would be defeated, despite Democrats’ narrow majority.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should remove Omar from the committee. Pelosi has shown no interest in doing that.
Speaking on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” McCarthy also said that if Republicans win House control in the 2022 elections, “Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs, or anybody that has an anti-Semitic, anti-American view.”
At a closed-door House GOP meeting later Tuesday, no rank-and-file lawmakers went to the microphones to talk about Omar, the Republican aide said.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem & AP)