There was clear dissention among the Democrats on whether a resolution condemning anti-Semitism was even necessary, given that the House voted on a similar measure already.
Her comments prompted Jonathan Greenblatt, the nation director of the Anti-Defamation League, to write a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing Omar of using a "vile anti-Semitic slur". "Anti-Semitism has fueled atrocities throughout history and it's inconceivable they will not act to condemn it!"
Democratic lawmakers debated Wednesday behind closed doors whether to hold a vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, in the wake of comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota that were perceived as anti-Semitic.
Hoyer said that, despite the delay, the resolution was still being discussed but might not come up for a vote this week.
The charge of anti-Semitism comes after Omar said that the Republican Party's threats against her and Palestinian-American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for criticising Israel was "all about the Benjamins, baby!" in reference to money allegedly paid to the party and its members to support Tel Aviv. "That was a guy who believed in the same kind of conspiracy theories as Donald Trump and Republican members of Congress day in and day out".
But after pressure from some Democrats to include language addressing anti-Muslim attacks on the representative, House leaders are now looking at adding broader language that addresses bigotry in general.
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Noting the poster in West Virginia that linked Omar with the 9/11 attacks and claiming there were other anti-Muslim attacks targeting Omar, Pelosi continued, "I don't think this is just about comments by Congresswoman Omar, which I do not think were intentionally anti-Semitic ... We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel", Sanders said in a statement on Wednesday. Some argued that Republican members were getting away with not having resolutions passed about things that they had said.
But Hoyer said King's racist remarks had gone on for "years" before the GOP took any steps to address them. In February, she apologized for suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are paid to do so.
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), who is among the Jewish members involved in crafting the initial resolution, rose to defend the resolution and, according to one member present, grew emotional. In criticizing the pro-Israel lobby, however, Omar was slammed by her freshman colleagues, veteran leaders of her own party and Republicans who claimed her inartful tweets invoked anti-Semitic tropes.
Leaders of influential Jewish-American groups and a number of prominent Democratic lawmakers bristled at what they saw as a suggestion of dual loyalty, pointing out that charged has been used against Jews for centuries to marginalize them politically and socially. Pelosi, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and other Democrats condemned Omar's remarks about divided loyalties.
The Post reported that at one point during the meeting, Pelosi ally Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) pleaded: "Everyone stop tweeting!"
Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) was targeted on Twitter Tuesday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), for saying that questioning the U.S. -Israel relationship should be out of bounds. "It's something that we shouldn't question at all".
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