While criticizing a remark made by President Donald Trump, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) finally acknowledged on Thursday that Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) circulated an anti-Semitic cartoon days earlier.
“The growing anti-Semitism in our political dialogue is repugnant. [Trump’s] comments about disloyalty are a vicious and dangerous anti-Semitic trope,” Nadler said. “And the Carlos Latuff cartoon forwarded by [Tlaib and Omar] can surely be read for its vile underlying message.”
Nadler’s remarks came roughly a week after the Israeli government blocked the two progressive lawmakers from entering the country over their advocacy of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
At the time, Trump commended the decision. However, Democrats and the left-wing media overwhelmingly condemned it, including Nadler.
“I strongly condemn this decision by the Israeli government, which undermines the ability for our two allied countries to have the frank, open, and, at times, difficult discussions that we must have in order to ensure Israel remains a secure and democratic nation,” he wrote in a statement.
Omar and Tlaib subsequently attacked the Jewish state for its “inhumane” treatment of Palestinian-Arabs living in Gaza and the West Bank, and further accused the country of being “oppressive” and “racist.”
As part of a days-long rant against Trump and the Israeli government, both congresswomen shared an anti-Semitic image by Carlos Latuff on their social media accounts. Latuff is a political cartoonist who is celebrated for his anti-Semitic and anti-Israel cartoons. He was notably the runner-up in the 2006 Iranian “International Holocaust Cartoon Contest” for a drawing comparisons between Israel’s West Bank and Nazi concentration camps.
The cartoon that Omar and Tlaib circulated only a week earlier showed Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with their hands over the congresswomen’s mouths, forming an Israeli flag.
The caption read: “The more they try to silence us, our voices rise. The more they try to weaken us, the stronger we become. The more they try to discredit us, the truth prevails.”
In the midst of the media firestorm over Israel’s decision to block Omar and Tlaib, Trump questioned why Jewish Americans would support Democrats, who have elevated a host of anti-Semitic members within the ranks of their party.
“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these to people over the state of Israel?” Trump asked regarding Omar and Tlaib. “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or a great disloyalty.”
The president faced immediate backlash from individuals claiming his remarks were promoting the “dual loyalty” trope, an age-old anti-Semitic canard.
While ripping Trump’s comments, Nadler was finally forced to acknowledge the anti-Semitic actions emanating from within his own party.
Nadler notably spoke out against Omar in February after the Minnesota congresswoman claimed that Republicans’ support for Israel is bought by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
“It is deeply disappointing and disturbing to hear Rep. Ilhan Omar’s choice of words in exchange with a journalist yesterday wherein she appears to traffic in old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money,” he said at the time. “Her words are deeply hurtful and offensive, particularly as they build on previous comments she made about Jews ‘hypnotizing’ the world in support of Israel — another old trope born of hate-filled texts like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
However, Nadler has largely defended the two freshman Democrats, who have been embroiled in allegations of anti-Semitism and anti-American sentiments. Collectively, the two members are the first Muslim congresswomen to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.