In a letter sent last week to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), more than 200 American rabbis from the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) demanded the immediate removal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. They insisted that the violent attacks on American Jews in recent weeks “are directly attributable” to Rep. Omar’s bigoted rhetoric. They added that “tolerance of anti-Jewish hatred has proliferated” in Congress on Rep. Pelosi’s watch.
“Omar’s every statement about Israel recalls classic, murderous tropes about Jews,” said CJV Vice President Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld. “If you want to understand why Jews are being attacked in cities across America, look no further than what she says as a member of Congress. That she is not only tolerated on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but she was appointed vice chair of a subcommittee whose purview includes global human rights, gives the clear impression that the Democratic leadership is merely feigning concern for anti-Semitism for partisan purposes, while allowing it to fester in reality.”
The more than 200 American rabbis further called attention to the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ support for Rep. Omar, arguing that the group “stooped to playing identity politics” when it indicated that a “right-wing media echo chamber” was attacking the Democratic representative from Minnesota as a “Black, Muslim woman.” The rabbis replied by underscoring the ridiculousness of the Caucus’ claim, pointing out the target of real threats: Jews who are “being attacked day and night on American streets by mobs incited by Rep. Omar’s rhetoric.” “We are appalled,” the rabbis appended.
“Clearly, the worst public excesses of anti-Semitic sickness in America today are coming from progressive Democrats,” said CJV Western Regional Vice President Rabbi Dov Fischer. “Though they claim to be criticizing Israel’s policies, their clear intent is to delegitimize Jews and defense of Jewish lives. They impose on Israel and Jews double standards they impose on no one else. While Omar is hardly alone, she is universally recognized as the most egregious offender. Speaker Pelosi must act now to confront hatred in her Chamber and her political party, beginning by taking away Omar’s committee assignments.”