US Muslim lawmaker Ilhan Omar sorry for tweet that sparked anti-Semitism row

Omar Ilhan in anti-Semitism row for saying AIPAC money behind Republican support for Israel

Last month, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib also criticized Israel and members of Congress, saying they are "more loyal to Israel than the United States".

Democrat Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee of which Omar is a member, called it "shocking to hear a member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of 'Jewish money'".

To remind you, the universally accepted Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, issued by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, includes "2". She may as well have said "Rothschild", or "Soros", or "the money changers at the Temple".

That same jump-in-head-first attitude that's helped the 38-year-old political rookie break barriers has also gotten her entangled in heated political fights, most recently stemming from allegations of anti-Semitism based on fiery Twitter exchanges. Her apology came at the urging of Democratic leaders.

"Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes", Omar said on Twitter.

Or, I'm just a poor girl from Somalia who doesn't know much about the historic evil of Jew hatred. Please respect our intelligence, Congresswoman.

The letter didn't name Omar or Tlaib, but its intention was clear. "This is why I unequivocally apologize".

An hour later, Omar elaborated, writing that she thinks AIPAC is paying American politicians to take pro-Israel stances. It's like the people who support the domestic weapons industry and those other people who poison our air.

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Omar supports a movement known as BDS, for "boycott, divestment and sanctions" aimed at Israel.

The comments received swift condemnation from members of congress on both sides of the aisle, including from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership.

Ilhan Omar apologized Monday for tweets suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are being paid to do so.

AIPAC denied the assertion, and Democrats said they were shocked. By focusing their attack on AIPAC, groups like JVP skillfully remove yet another line of defense against Jewish annihilation. The popular weeklong excursions for members of Congress, their families and some senior staff can cost upward of $12,000 per person and are meant to "educate political leaders and influencers about the importance of the US - Israel relationship through firsthand experiences". "We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments".

People defending her left yellow notes of support on Omar's office nameplate on Capitol Hill.

Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Omar's words only serve to fuel bigotry. On Friday, McCarthy challenged Democrats to make similar moves against Omar and Tlaib, drawing an equivalence between their actions and those of King. "We know that numerous attacks against her are created to discredit a new generation of political leaders who are opposed to the Netanyahu government's racist policies", wrote IfNotNow, an American Jewish activist group that opposes the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Omar had initially said she didn't understand why American Jews would be offended by the statement, which critics argued evoked ugly Nazi conspiracies about Jewish people's power to "hypnotize" the world.

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