Nancy Pelosi Shuts Down Nadler’s Request to Flee DC over Coronavirus: ‘We’re the Captains of This Ship’

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 18: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) delivers remarks alongside Chairman Jerry Nadler, House Committee on the Judiciary (D-NY) and Chairman Eliot Engel, House Foreign Affairs Committee (D-NY), following the House of Representatives vote to impeach President Donald Trump on December 18, 2019 in Washington, …

By Joshua Caplan – 3/10/2020

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on Tuesday said Democrats should flee Washington, D.C. as coronavirus continues to spread across the United States — A suggestion which was immediately shut down by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), according to a report.

Nadler made the remark in a closed-door caucus meeting on the deadly illness.

“We are the captains of the ship. We are the last to leave,” Pelosi responded, echoing a comment by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) moments earlier, The Hill reports.

Concerns about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the Capitol have grown as several lawmakers have self-quarantined after coming into contact with infected individuals.

Five Republicans, including President Donald Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), have quarantined themselves are coming into contact with someone with the virus at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

“While he’s experiencing zero symptoms, under doctors’ standard precautionary recommendations, he’ll remain at home until the 14-day period expires this Wednesday,” Ben Williamson, Meadows’ chief of staff, said in a statement.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who flew with President Trump aboard Air Force One on Monday, announced he would be taking two weeks of self-imposed isolation after coming into contact at CPAC with the person diagnosed with the virus.

News of the CPAC infection came days after the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) announced attendees to its policy conference last week may have come into contact with a person infected with the virus.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began in China in December, there have been more than 4,000 deaths and 113,000 cases worldwide, including 21 fatalities in the United States and more than 500 cases of the disease.

In a statement on Sunday, ACU said the Maryland Department of Health has screened thousands of employees at the resort, conference center and hotel where the conference was held and “not a single person has reported any unusual illness.”

“The Dept. of Health is not restricting the movement or interactions with others of those hotel employees,” it said in a statement, adding it is encouraging them to take their temperature twice daily and pay attention for symptoms.

The ACU said the infected attendee was receiving medical care in New Jersey and was quarantined.

In a separate situation, Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA) said she has self-isolated herself after having come into contact last week in Washington, D.C., with a person who has tested positive for the virus.

The UPI contributed to this report. 

Ilhan Omar to Visit Israel to Learn More About the ‘Occupation’

US Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, speaks during a press conference to introduce college affordability legislation outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, June 24, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

By Joshua Caplan

Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who has a long history of making antisemitic remarks, revealed that she will soon visit Israel.

Omar told J-Insider Capitol Hill reporter Laura Kelly on Wednesday that she will visit the Jewish state and “Palestine” in a “few weeks” and learn more about the so-called “occupation.”

“Everything that I hear points to both sides feeling like there is still an occupation,” she said.

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Since coming to Washington last year, Omar has received intense scrutiny for her antisemitic remarks, though Democrat leaders have refused to take action.

In 2012, Omar wrote on Twitter that Israel had “hypnotized the world” and said, “may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings” of the Jewish state. The progressive lawmaker tweeted in February that supports in Congress for Israel is “all about the Benjamins baby,” falsely suggesting that American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) bribes lawmakers to support the country. The antisemitic remark drew praisefrom infamous white supremacist David Duke.

Although Omar eventually apologized for inferencing Jews buy influence on Capitol Hill, weeks later she claimed pro-Israel congressmen  hold “allegiance to a foreign country.”

Top House Democrats condemned the statement, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), yet Omar would not apologize this time for her anti-Jewish slur.

Appearing Wednesday on CBS This Morning, Omar said she had no regrets about her past antisemitic comments. When asked by interviewer Gayle King if she had regrets, the progressive lawmaker replied“I do not, but I am grateful for the opportunity to really learn how my words have made people feel and take every opportunity I have to make sure people understand that I apologize for it.”

Omar then claimed that she was “certainly not” antisemitic.

‘Gravelanche’: Anti-war ex-Senator with teen campaign managers is making a splash in 2020 race

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A new unlikely sensation entering the 2020 Democratic primaries could become a headache for the political establishment – and it isn’t the 77-year old independent senator from Vermont.

Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) is a former senator who is even older than Bernie Sanders and more vehemently critical of US foreign policy, imperialism and the surveillance state. The 88-year-old, who served in the Senate from 1969 to 1981, openly admits he threw his hat in the ring for the sole purpose of qualifying for the debates, in order to ensure that certain issues are not neglected.

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Despite being an octogenarian, Gravel is still up to his unorthodox ways, recruiting two 17-year old self-proclaimed lefties as his campaign managers. After announcing his candidacy, a fundraiser was launched to help the ex-lawmaker meet the requirements of 65,000 donors for debate eligibility.

As a senator, Gravel gained national recognition for his efforts to end the draft during the Vietnam War and entering The Pentagon Papers released by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg into the public record.

Gravel previously ran for president in 2008. In 1972, he also unsuccessfully campaigned to be the running mate of George McGovern, the post that ultimately went to Sargent Shriver.

Gravel was briefly a member of the Libertarian Party, after becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Democratic Party’s pro-war positions after his 2008 bid. His candidacy did gain notoriety for his unusual debate appearances and ornery sense of humor. When debating the Iraq War, Gravel turned to the other candidates on stage and exclaimed “some of these people frighten me!”

He went on to blast then-candidate Joe Biden (another 2020 contender) as “having a certain arrogance. You want to tell the Iraqis how to run their country. I gotta tell you, we should just plain get out!”

Gravel’s feeling about Biden don’t appear to have changed.

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His devoted online following from 2008 seems to have reappeared as a perfect fit for today’s political climate, in which social media plays an increasingly vital role in political campaigns. His anti-war positions are resonating with young left-wing voters unhappy about the current lineup of 2020 candidates.

Mainstream media has been quick to lampoon Gravel and scare-monger voters about his controversial views on the September 11th terrorist attacks possibly being an inside job.

It does appear that the elderly ex-senator is serious about planning to drop out of the race after the debates, once he has made sure the Democrats discuss the issue of American interventionism abroad.

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Et Tu, Ilhan? Anti-Semites, Anti-Israel Activists Attack Rep. Omar After She Comes Out In Support Of A ‘Two-State Solution’

By EMILY ZANOTTI

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is learning the hard way that you can’t please everyone, and that includes anti-Semites and anti-Israel activists on social media.

Omar is, of course, well known to moderate Democrats and Republicans for her recent series of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks, often accusing her Jewish colleagues of “dual loyalty” to both the United States and Israel, and implying that pro-Israel organizations like AIPAC are compromising Congress on behalf of the Israeli government.

The comments have divided her Democratic colleagues, who have waffled between censuring her for relying on anti-Semitic smears, and watering down their criticism out of fear they will alienate younger, more progressive aspects of their base.

Over the weekend, Omar penned an op-ed in the Washington Post, attempting to bridge the divide, explaining, in detail, her position on foreign policy as it applies to Israel and the Palestinians. In it, Omar unexpectedly advocated for a “two-state solution” rather than the complete destruction of the Jewish state, something her colleagues in the BDS (or “boycott-divest-sanction”) movement openly support.

The op-ed drew skepticism from moderate Democrats and most Republicans, but in a strange twist, it drew open scorn from anti-Israel activists and anti-Semites on Twitter, who had come to believe Omar was one of their own, only to be “betrayed” by her embrace of the only slightly less radical “two-state solution.”

When she tweeted out her op-ed, things got really hairy.

“When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we must fight for self-determination, security, and peace for both peoples. That’s why I support a two-state solution,” she tweeted.

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Things only went downhill from there.

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At least one angry supporter even declared Omar, “cancelled.”

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Others accused the outspoken Muslim Congresswoman of stepping on the toes of Palestinians, who should be allowed to determine their own form of “liberation,” not be dictated to by an “imperialist.”

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The replies to Omar’s Tweet are even worse.

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That’s a pretty tough break for Ilhan’s supporters, but they can take comfort in knowing she probably doesn’t really mean it.

NYT RUNS A STORY ABOUT AIPAC ACTIVIST. TURNS OUT, HE’S NOT ASSOCIATED WITH AIPAC, BUT THAT DIDN’T STOP OCASIO-CORTEZ FROM USING IT TO FUNDRAISE

By Molly Prince

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Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fundraised off a New York Times story claiming the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) sought to unseat her, but the AIPAC representative cited in the article was not part of the group.

“They are three people who, in my opinion, will not be around in several years,” Stephen Fiske told TheNYT, referring to Ocasio-Cortez and her progressive colleagues, Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Fiske, who TheNYT called “a longtime activist” with AIPAC was the keystone of the article, however, he confirmed to The Times of Israel on Friday that he has not been associated with the organization for several years. Rather, he’s the chairman of a pro-Israel PAC that has no affiliation with AIPAC.

Ocasio-Cortez sent out fundraising emails days after TheNYT’s March 4 article was published, claiming “It’s official — AIPAC is coming after Alexandria, Ilhan, and Rashida.”

AIPAC, which is not a political action committee and therefore doesn’t directly fund campaigns, deters donors from taking aim at incumbents in safe districts, such as those of Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib, according to The Times of Israel.

The battle against AIPAC was seemingly kicked off in February after Omar quote-tweeted a Haaretz article where House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened punishment against Omar and Tlaib for their anti-Semitic rhetoric. Omar replied that Republicans’ support for Israel is bought by AIPAC, perpetuating an ages-old anti-Semitic trope.

The comments received swift condemnation from Congressional members on both sides of the aisle, including from the Democratic leadership. However, Ocasio-Cortez praised Omarfor what she said “raised the issue of lobbyist [money] in politics.”

(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The freshman congressional trio has been embroiled in allegations of anti-Semitism. Omar and Tlaib have come out in support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to punish the nation-state of Israel economically for its alleged mistreatment of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Ocasio-Cortez has been notably silent on the issue, however, she is part of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which supports the movement. A 2017 video surfaced of DSA voting in favor of BDS while chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a famous Hamas rallying cry. (RELATED: America’s  First Two Muslim Congresswomen Will Both Be Fundraising For Hamas-Linked Organization)

While Ocasio-Cortez claimed to have Sephardic Jewish ancestry, she has made some eyebrow raising statements about Jews. The self-proclaimed radical compared a migrant caravan trying to enter the United States illegally to Jews fleeing the Holocaust.

She later compared the effects of Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal to the Holocaust, urging the United States to follow Germany’s example by paying reparations and acknowledge the suffering that occurred during Nazi occupation.

Ocasio-Cortez also received backlash after she expressed gratitude for her correspondence with Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of U.K.’s Labour Party. Corbyn has been plagued with accusations of anti-Semitism and has a long history of condemning Israel while applauding anti-Jewish terrorist organizations.

FORMER KKK GRAND WIZARD DAVID DUKE ENDORSES ILHAN OMAR: SHE’S ‘NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT MEMBER OF THE US CONGRESS!’

Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke Endorses Ilhan Omar: She's 'NOW the most important Member of the US Congress!'

When will Rep. Omar disavow?

Infowars.com – MARCH 7, 2019

In a recent radio broadcast, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke praised Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her recent statements against Israel.

In a description of Duke’s podcast Thursday, Omar was credited for defying what he referred to as “Z.O.G.”

“By Defiance to Z.O.G. Ilhan Omar is NOW the most important Member of the US Congress!” screamed a headline at Duke’s website.

A Thursday show description reads:

“Today Dr. Duke and Eric Striker of the Public Space had the kind of fun and informative show we have come to expect from our Thunder and Lightning Thor’s Day broadcasts. In particular, they heaped praise on Ilhan Omar (D-New Somalia) for being the one person in Congress willing to notice AIPAC and the “dual” loyalty of many (((members of Congresss))).”

The headline was accompanied by an image featuring a heart eyes emoji and Rep. Omar (D-Minn.), which was also shared on Twitter.

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Duke’s endorsement comes as Dems, including fellow freshmen congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich), have come to Omar’s defense after recent comments criticizing Israel were largely deemed anti-Semitic.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday also dismissed the controversy over Omar’s comments, saying “I do not believe that she understood the full weight of the words.”

NPR lays out Omar’s troubles which stem from a tweet made last month.

In February, Omar responded to a tweet from journalist Glenn Greenwald, who posted about House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatening to punish Omar and another congresswoman for being critical of Israel.

Omar wrote back, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” a line about $100 bills from a Puff Daddy song. Critics jumped on the tweet and said Omar was calling up a negative and harmful stereotype of Jewish Americans.

In another tweet soon after, Omar named the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, saying it was funding Republican support for Israel.

President Donald Trump on Monday added to the pressure on Dems to address Omar’s remarks in a tweet calling their inaction a “dark day for Israel.”

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During the 2016 presidential campaign, mainstream media outlets incessantly demonized then candidate Trump for his loose affiliation with Duke during his flirt with a presidential bid in 2000 when he was part of the Reform party.

It is doubtful Omar will receive the same treatment.

H/t: TheGatewayPundit.com

Pelosi Gives Omar A Pass As “Anti-Semitism” Resolution Morphs Into Indictment Of Trump Supporters

By Tyler Durden

After a contentious closed-door session on Wednesday among House Democrats who are deeply divided over a resolution to indirectly condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over anti-Israel comments, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) almost got whiplash from pivoting 180-degrees; excusing Omar, while dramatically altering resolution’s language from condemning anti-Semitism, to Democratic talking points commonly used against Trump supporters.

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When asked if Omar should apologize for saying that supporters of Israel have an “allegiance to a foreign country,” Pelosi gave a pass to the freshman Rep, telling reporters: “I do not believe she understood the full weight” of her words, adding that Omar’s comments “were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude.” 

If true, some have suggested that Omar is tone-deaf and not fit to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction of the relationship between the United States and Israel.

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Meanwhile, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that the House hopes to vote on Thursday on a resolution condemning all forms of hatesaying the message would be “we are against bigotry, we are against prejudice and against hate.” – which just happens to echo commonly used Democrat talking points about conservatives. 

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As we noted on Wednesday, Pelosi’s 180 comes after chaos broke out Wednesday during a closed-door meeting of House Democrats.

Inside the meeting, according to multiple people present, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to keep her caucus focused on a planned Friday vote on a sweeping campaign and elections reform bill. She acknowledged “internal issues,” according to notes taken by a Democratic aide present, and urged members not to “question the motivations of our colleagues.”

But moments later, multiple House members stood up to challenge the decision — endorsed by Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership — to move forward with a resolution condemning religious hatred. Initially the measure targeted only anti-Semitism, with some Democrats pushing for a direct rebuke of Omar, but by Tuesday night — facing backlash from members not on board with the plan — leaders decided to expand it to include anti-Muslim bias. –Washington Post

Several Democrats those who took issue with the measure were members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who opposed even an indirect rebuke of Rep. Omar when they should be focusing on how to attack President Trump.

“I think there’s a big rise in anti-Semitism and racism, and that’s a bigger conversation we need to be having.” said Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA). “But it starts at 1600 Pennsylvania. It doesn’t start with one member out of 435 members of Congress.”

“Why are we doing this?” asked Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), who said that a resolution would be “redundant and unnecessary,” likely referring to the January 11 rebuke of Omar after she accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of contributing to pro-Israel politicians.

In the end, Rep. Omar seems to have won the day.

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RACHMUTH: Duke University Is Not A Safe Space For Jews

By Sloan Rachmuth

It should come as no surprise that Duke University is making headlines this time of year. The highly prestigious private school is a college basketball powerhouse that tends to dominate sports pages as March Madness approaches. But this year, the stories aren’t just related to athletics. Duke has been steeped in anti-Semitism that is being green-lighted by the student newspaper and leftist student groups.

The Duke campus has been the target of numerous anti-Semitic incidents in just the past few months, including destruction of Jewish property, genocidal expression, demonizing Jews and delegitimizing the Jewish state’s right to exist, according to the anti-Semitism watchdog group AMCHA Initiative.

A recent editorial in the student newspaper, The Chronicle, describes Israel as a “murderous” country with “genocidal policies.” Titled, “AIPAC And The Blockade On Critiquing Israel,” the piece, authored by the editorial board, defends the “ill-conceived wording” of Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar‘s recent tweet invoking the old anti-Semitic canards of Jewish power and money.

“The defense of and expansion on Omar’s overt and classic anti-Semitic trope…and calls for Duke students to engage in activism to economically cripple Israel…are reprehensible,” said AMCHA Initiative director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin. “The fact that this editorial was written by the entire editorial board of the official student paper, not an individual or a known anti-Zionist group like Students for Justice in Palestine or Jewish Voice for Peace, indicates that these anti-Semitic tropes have become completely normalized on that campus. That’s really frightening.”

Joining Rossman-Benjamin in condemning The Chronicle’s editorial board was David Brog, executive director of the anti-Semitism education group Maccabee Task Force:

How sad that students at such a prestigious university have such a simplistic view of so complex an issue. They condemn Israel’s self-defense in Gaza without ever mentioning the Hamas aggression that necessitates it. They label Israel a settler-colonial state without ever acknowledging the fact that Jews are indigenous to this land. And they double down on the anti-Semitic theory that Jewish lobbyists manipulate politicians into supporting Israel while ignoring the widespread support for Israel among their constituents. I hope that one day the authors of this article have the opportunity to study this issue more deeply and supplement their stereotypes with some facts.

Several Jewish students on the Durham, North Carolina campus have told the Haym Salomon Center that the op-ed created a negative atmosphere for Jews on campus. Junior Max Cherman and freshman Ezra Loeb responded to the editorial with a piece, “The Chronicle’s Editorial Board Embodies 21st Century Anti-Semitism.”

Cherman and Loeb received support from many students and alumni who also found the editorial disturbing. But it’s the response from other Duke students, who seem to regard the editorial as a license to hate, that has some students questioning whether to remain at Duke.

Anti-Semitism at Duke is not a recent phenomenon, but it has spiked over the past few months. University president Vincent E. Price issued a statement right before Thanksgiving, which reads in part:

I write you this morning with a deep sense of frustration and sorrow: last night, a tribute on the East Campus Bridge to the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre was defaced by a large, red swastika. That such a craven and cowardly act of vandalism — a desecration of a memorial to individuals who were killed because they were Jewish and practicing their faith — should happen anywhere is extremely distressing. That it should occur in such a visible, public location at Duke should be a matter of grave concern to us all.

Posts on The Chronicle’s Facebook page reveal that intimidation and anti-Semitism are alive and thriving on the Durham campus.

A member of the far-left anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine posted a meme mocking Jewish Duke students who were made to feel uncomfortable by The Chronicle’s article. “Let’s also not forget Israel’s habit of forcibly sterilizing African/black+brown immigrants,” posted another student.

The current hostile climate on campus toward Jewish students wasn’t initiated by The Chronicle’s editorial board. Back in October, just two weeks after swastikas were found in the language arts building, Duke seniors Sanjidah Ahmed and Hadeel Abdelhy lambasted the university’s efforts to build dialogue as “both ludicrous and shameful,” claiming Israel engages in “the annihilation of Palestinian people.”

This past May, anti-Semitic posters were found in Durham and on Duke’s east campus.

“I was deeply disturbed and, to be honest, frightened,” explained professor Gavin Yamey. “I’m Jewish, and these vile anti-Semitic threats, including the image of a gun pointed at a Jew, really rattled me.”

“I lost family to pogroms and in the Holocaust,” he added. “Seeing incitements to shoot Jews in my hometown is not something I ever imagined.”

Request for comment from The Chronicle editorial board went unanswered.​

Sloan Rachmuth is director of research and special projects for the news and public policy group Haym Salomon Center@salomoncenter.

 

#StandwithIlhan: Social media users defend Ilhan Omar after her forced apology over anti-Semitism

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Social media users are flocking to #StandwithIlhan after Rep. Ilhan Omar was pressured to issue an apology for her tweets about the Israel lobby’s influence over US politicians, after she was accused of anti-Semitism.

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Omar was seemingly forced to apologize by Democratic leadership after she tweeted about Israeli influence and named the powerful Israel lobbying group AIPAC as having a hold over US politicians.

READ MORE:‘All about the Benjamins’: Ilhan Omar sparks Twitter backlash over ‘anti-Semitic’ post

Although her statements were backed up, Omar faced an onslaught of outrage from a wide range of commenters, from Chelsea Clinton to President Donald Trump, who said she should be “ashamed of herself.” This despite the fact that Trump faced criticism for making anti-Semitic tropes about members of the Republican Jewish Coalition liking money and making deals when he addressed them in 2015.

“I don’t think her apology was adequate,” he unironically said of Omar.

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Omar “unequivocally” apologized for her remarks in a statement which also reaffirmed the problematic role of lobbyists in US politics. This prompted many to accuse her of not apologizing enough, while her supporters expressed disappointment that she was apologizing at all.

READ MORE:‘Sorry, not sorry?’ Ilhan Omar apologizes for ‘anti-Semitic’ tweet, reigniting controversy

Many voicing their support for Omar pointed to American values of freedom of speech and shared a petition urging the Democratic leadership to stand up against “bad faith attacks” targeting Omar even after her apology. Others said they had donated to her campaign.

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Social media users also provided more information to back up Omar’s initial tweets about Israel’s influence, and pointed to disconnects between House Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement supporting Israel and denouncing “racism, prejudice and discrimination” in light of freedoms not offered to Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

The volume of outrage and cries of anti-Semitism from the US establishment seemed to further bolster Omar’s comments about the sway the Israel lobby holds over elected officials and the country’s two leading political parties.

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Ironically, smearing people as anti-Semites is a tactic employed by the Israel lobby both in the US and theUK, as detailed in two Al Jazeera documentaries which saw an undercover reporter infiltrate both the US and UK lobby to reveal methods employed by the groups. The US version was never aired by Al Jazeera as a result of pressure wrought by the Israel lobby and members of Congress, who accused the network of… anti-Semitism.

One clip from the censored documentary shared on Twitter shows former AIPAC Director Eric Gallagher explaining that “everything AIPAC does is focused on influencing Congress.”

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(ANOTHER DEMOCRAT!) – REP. ILHAN OMAR GOES ON ANTI-SEMITIC TWITTER RAMPAGE; ADVOCACY GROUP DEMANDS APOLOGY

Rep. Ilhan Omar Goes on Anti-Semitic Twitter Rampage; Advocacy Group Demands Apology

She accused deep-pocketed Jews of buying American politicians and retweeted a post calling Jews ‘hook nosed’

By Tom Elliott

Democrats’ freshmen class of lawmakers are providing the party with a new source of passion — and a lot of headaches.

A series of tweets sent Sunday night from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) are another addition for the latter category.

The tweets began after a writer for the Intercept, Glenn Greenwald, posted a story about Rep. Kevin McCarthy “threatening punishment” of Rep. Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) “over their criticisms of Israel.” (As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted, McCarthy’s comments were actually directed at “what he sees as anti-Semitic rhetoric from Reps. Omar and Tlaib.”)

Rep. Omar responded to Greenwald’s post with, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby”:

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The insinuation that Jewish interests were compelling Rep. McCarthy’s actions prompted some to ask Rep. Omar for clarification.

When a writer for the Forward asked, “Would love to know who Omar thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel,” Rep. Omar responded: “AIPAC!”

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As a 501(c))4), the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) does not actually make contributions to politicians.

Omar later re-tweeted a Jewish writer who described himself as not generally sympathetic to Israel, but felt Rep. Omar’s attacks on Jews were akin to calling “us hook-nosed.” 

Rep. Omar subsequently deleted her retweet, apparently not having realized the post was calling her anti-Semitic. However, some online captured her retweet before it was taken down:

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Rep. Omar’s tweets were promptly condemned among Jewish advocacy groups. AIPAC responded: “We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the US-Israel relationship. Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and interests. We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work.”

The American Jewish Committee called her tweets “stunningly anti-Semitic.” 

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Her comments also drew scorn from her fellow Democrats. Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) wrote, “When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes and words against people of any faith, I will not be silent. Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.” 

“Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive enough,” Rose’s statement continued. “But to go a step further, and retweet someone declaring their parent at her sentiment is simply unacceptable. At a time when anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, our leaders should not be invoking hurtful stereotypes and caricatures of Jewish people to dismiss those who support Israel.” 

“In the Democratic Party — and in the United States of America — we celebrate the diversity of our people, and the God we pray to, as a strength,” he said. “The Congresswoman’s statements do not live up to that cherished ideal.”

In response to the escalating anger over her tweets, Rep. Omar said she’s the victim of “smears.” After Chelsea Clinton said “we have to call out anti-Semitic language and tropes on all sides, particularly in our elected officials and particularly now,” Rep. Omar responded:

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The freshman lawmaker then began retweeting a series of people who said her comments about Jews were not anti-Semitic.

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This is not Rep. Omar’s first time being accused of trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. Before entering Congress, she wrote that Israel “hypnotized the world,” comments she later said she didn’t understand why Jews found offensive. More recently Rep. Omar used Holocaust Remembrance Day to downplay the Holocaust.

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