Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a feeble resolution to condemn anti-Semitism after Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) made several anti-Semitic comments. Before being overwhelmingly passed, the resolution was delayed to allow for additional condemnations of more forms of biogtry than just anti-Semitism. Linda Sarsour, a leader of the Women’s March who has also been frequently accused of peddling anti-Semitism, took credit for the change in language.
“So many of you know that our sister, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was under attack,” Sarsour said. “And you know, being able to mobilize progressive leaders across the country to sign on to a letter to organize a press conference in support of Ilhan Omar, to call on the Democratic leadership to actually expand the language of the resolution to include condemning all forms of bigotry because that’s the kind of movement we are a part of.”
“The Women’s March is a movement that unequivocally rejects all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia,” Sarsour continued, “and that’s what we called on the Democratic leadership to do — that in our lifetime we made history with a resolution that is going to be in the public record for life.”
Prior to the watered down resolution passing last week, Sarsour criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for supporting the initial resolution draft by castigating Pelosi’s “white feminism” and ignorance of “intersectionality.”
“Nancy is a typical white feminist upholding the patriarchy doing the dirty work of powerful white men,” Sarsour wrote on Facebook. “God forbid the men are upset — no worries, Nancy to the rescue to stroke their egos.”
Sarsour also claimed that when “members of Congress have spewed blatant anti-Muslim racism, Islamophobia, propaganda against Muslims, and even held racist hearings with our taxpayer dollars, Democratic leadership was never swift to condemn said members or put out resolutions condemning Islamophobia and/or standing in solidarity with Muslims on the record in Congress.”
Sarsour added that Democrats were “playing into the hands of the Right.”
“You want a resolution? Condemn all forms of bigotry. All forms of bigotry are unacceptable. We won’t let them pin us up against each other. We stand with Representative Ilhan Omar. Our top priority is the safety of our sister and her family,” Sarsour concluded.
The resolution reportedly passed 407 to 23 with all of the no votes being Republicans and Rep. Steve King (R-IA) voting present.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) did not vote in favor of the resolution and instead called it a “sham put forward by Democrats to avoid condemning one of their own and denouncing vile anti-Semitism.”
Cheney said Omar deserved to be called out by name in the resolution.
“Rep. Omar’s comments were wrong and she has proven multiple times that she embodies a vile, hate-filled, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel bigotry,” Cheney said. “She deserves to be rebuked, by name, and removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee so that there is no mistake about the values and priorities that the House stands for.”
“While I stand whole-heartedly against discrimination outlined in this resolution, the language before the House today did not address the issue that is front and center,” Cheney said in a statement.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) who is Jewish, said that if Omar were a Republican, her name would’ve been put in the resolution.
“If that member was a Republican, that member’s name would be in this resolution, and this resolution would be all about condemning anti-Semitism — and it would be done so forcefully,” Zeldin said. “That member in January had to apologize for talking about a ‘hypnosis’ of Israel that they have over the entire world. That member had to apologize in February by saying if you support Israel, it must be because you’re bought off by Jews. That member called it an unequivocal apology, even though she filled it with equivocation. And now we’re back again this time by saying that, if you support the U.S.-Israel relationship, you must have pledged allegiance to a foreign government. Except this time, that member is refusing to apologize.”
Omar, who voted in favor of the resolution, called it a win.
“Today is historic on many fronts,” Omar said. “It’s the first time we have voted on a resolution condemning Anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation’s history. Anti-Muslim crimes have increased 99% from 2014-2016 and are still on the rise.”
“We are tremendously proud to be part of a body that has put forth a condemnation of all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white supremacy,” the statement added. “At a time when extremism is on the rise, we must explicitly denounce religious intolerance of all kinds and acknowledge the pain felt by all communities. Our nation is having a difficult conversation and we believe this is great progress.”