More than 2,000 Rabbis Urge Congress To Kick Ilhan Omar Off Foreign Affairs Committee
UNITED STATES - MARCH 1: From left, Reps. Judy Chu, D-Calif., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., testify during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties hearing titled Discrimination and the Civil Rights of the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian American Communities in Rayburn Building on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

An organization representing more than 2,000 rabbis is urging congressional leaders to keep Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) off the House Foreign Affairs Committee over her extensive history of anti-Semitism.

The letter comes as a small group of Republicans, including Reps. Nancy Mace (SC), Victoria Spartz (IN), and Ken Buck (CO) have suggested that they may not support House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) bid to kick her off the committee.

The Coalition for Jewish Values addressed the letter to McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), asking that Congress follows through on McCarthy’s pledge to remove her from the committee.

“This is not a political matter, but one of moral conscience, and a necessary step to quell the rising tide of antisemitic speech and violence now impacting Jewish communities across America,” wrote Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, President; and Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director.

The letter also comes after Omar claimed during a CNN interview on Sunday that she had no idea that her anti-Semitic statements “were trafficking in antisemitism.”

“On three separate occasions, we wrote to the previous Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to make this same request,” the rabbis wrote. “We were ignored all three times, while antisemitic hate crimes became ever more common in this country. Upon learning of the appointment of Rep. Omar to the Foreign Affairs committee, we wrote to express our ‘alarm, dismay and outrage,’ given that even before her election to Congress, Ms. Omar had repeatedly used antisemitic tropes.”

The rabbis said that they warned that allowing Omar on the committee would embolden anti-Semitism across the U.S. and in Congress.

“Less than a month later, we renewed our request after Rep. Omar showed that her bigotry was unabated,” they wrote. “She employed, among others, the classic trope of Jewish disloyalty, and implied that House colleagues who supported Israel had been bought off. As she wrote, ‘it’s all about the Benjamins.’”

The group continued by highlighting numerous other instances of Omar’s anti-Semitism and saying it was “clear that the failure of Congress to dissociate itself from Rep. Omar’s bigotry helped create the environment of hate now evident in New York and across the country, precisely as Lord Rabbi Sacks warned.”

“We believe that to remove Rep. Omar from the Foreign Affairs committee is the only morally responsible choice for a Member of Congress who opposes racism, bigotry, and antisemitism,” the letter concluded. “We implore each and every member to demonstrate their concern for all of America’s minorities, by acting against hatred directed against those most frequently targeted.”

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