House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says freshman Democrat Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., didn’t realize her words about Israel would sound anti-Semitic.
Omar’s comment that a pledge of “allegiance” to the Jewish state is expected of lawmakers sparked enough outrage to split Democrats and throw their agenda into question.
“I feel confident that her words were not based in an anti-Semitic attitude, but that she didn’t have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people where these words have a history and cultural impact that might have been unknown to her,” Pelosi said.
“I feel confident [Ilhan Omar’s] words were not based in an antisemitic attitude, but that she didn’t have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people where these words have a history and cultural impact that might have been unknown to her,” Pelosi said pic.twitter.com/ak3O895zb6
— POLITICO (@politico) March 7, 2019
The House was expected to vote Thursday on a resolution “opposing hate” as Democrats try to move on from a controversy that has split the party and clouded their agenda.
Some Democrats wanted a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, while others said that would have unfairly singled out Omar.
Pelosi told reporters the resolution the House will vote on Thursday will “speak out against anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-white supremacy and all the forms that it takes.”
Of Omar, Pelosi said, “I do not believe she understood the full weight of her words. These words have a history and a cultural impact.”
Omar, a Somali-American, is one of two Muslim women in the House.
Many observers questioned whether she should serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee if she lacks understanding of anti-Semitic language.
1) She doesn’t understand her words and why they’re antisemitic
2) She should be making laws and serving on Foreign Affairs
— Orange Muppet Energy (@sunnyright) March 7, 2019
Here is a funny thought.
If @IlhanMN ”does not understand” what Antisemitism is, and is ignorant about ”history and cultural impacts”, maybe she is not the best person to represent the Democratic party on the foreign relations committee. @SpeakerPelosi https://t.co/3Jc0HheqOm
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) March 7, 2019
All due respect, @SpeakerPelosi. But if @Ilhan “doesn’t understand the weight of her words” – over and over again – when it comes to an issue as important, sensitive and divisive as anti-Semitism, maybe consider a different committee appointment than foreign affairs?
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) March 7, 2019
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the resolution vote at a private Thursday morning meeting of House Democrats, according to a spokeswoman.
Democrats have been in knots after comments from Omar that were widely seen as anti-Semitic.
Some Democratic lawmakers wanted a resolution that rebuked the comments, but others viewed the condemnation as unfairly singling out Omar.
A draft resolution was panned by many Democrats, and a new text was being prepared ahead of voting.
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