For whatever it’s worth, President Trump’s controversial tweets over the weekend have brought House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Ilhan Omar back together.
Before the president’s tweets, widely called racist by both the media and the Democrats, Pelosi and Omar were engaged in what the kids might call “clapping back.” Pelosi said that “the squad” — the core group of four progressive female representatives that Omar is a part of — were “only four people, and that’s how many votes they got,” a jab at their outsized influence.
Omar, meanwhile, said that Pelosi was “salty” about “WHO is wielding the power to shift” public opinion.
That rift was healed by Trump’s comments, if just out of necessity. In fact, during the vote on a resolution to condemn the president for his social remarks, Pelosi was seen hugging the Minnesota Democrat.
Pelosi and Omar shared a hug on the floor, as the House begins to vote on the trump resolution.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) July 16, 2019
A tender moment, to be sure. It’s good to see that social media has managed to bring these two together in such a meaningful way.
It’s worth noting, however, that one of the key points made by Trump in his tweets and in his subsequent remarks is that Omar is anti-American. Just a few months ago, one key Democrat seemed to agree with him. That Democrat would be Pelosi.
Yes, it’s difficult to remember, but there was a time when the Democrats were trying to rein in Omar, particularly regarding her comments on American Jewry. In fact, they even voted on a resolution after what seemed like Omar’s 3,487th instance of thinly veiled anti-Semitism. That resolution was so watered down as to be meaningless thanks to Democrats wanting to take it easy on Omar, a process which was absent from Tuesday’s resolution.
That was in March, the same month that Speaker Pelosi appeared before AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. You may remember them as the target of one of Omar’s anti-Semitic attacks when she tweeted that America’s policy toward the Jewish state was “all about the Benjamins baby” — a 90s-tastic inference that AIPAC controlled lawmakers via money, a clear reference to the bigoted, conspiratorial trope that Jewish dollars can buy off lawmakers.
At the time, Pelosi was pretty clear about how she viewed those with this worldview. She doesn’t mention Omar by name, but it’s pretty clear who she’s talking about: “In our democratic societies, we should welcome legitimate debate on how best to honor our values and to advance our priorities without questioning loyalty or patriotism,” Pelosi said.
“This month, the full House came together to condemn the Semitic myth of dual loyalty and all forms of bigotry with a resolution that, quote, ‘Rejects the perpetuation of antisemitic stereotypes in the United States and around the world, including the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, especially in the context of support for the United States-Israel alliance,'” she continued.
And then the kicker: “I simply declare to be anti-Semitic is to be anti-American. It has no place in our country.”
Nancy Pelosi at AIPAC: “We must also vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy and that includes BDS … it does not recognize the right of Jewish people to national self-determination””
“I simply declare to be anti-Semitic is to be anti-American” pic.twitter.com/rbMqU23IX0
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 17, 2019
“We must also [be] vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy and that includes BDS,” she said, referring to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction movement, which aims to treat Israel as if it were an apartheid state even though it’s the one getting hit with rockets from an unoccupied Palestine.
“It does not recognize the right of Jewish people to national self-determination,” Pelosi added.
Well, this is awkward.
So, let’s catalog Omar’s history of anti-Semitism. Before she was elected, she tweeted about how “Israel has hypnotized the world.” That’s yet another anti-Semitic trope, the idea that Jews somehow have a preternatural ability to cast a spell on others and get their way. She called this “unfortunate,” essentially promising to learn from the experience.
Then there was the AIPAC-Benjamins tweet, after which she all but promised to learn from the experience. But that wasn’t before strangely retweeting a criticism of her that said, “I know exactly what the congresswoman meant. She might as well call us hooked-nosed.” That was quickly deleted and she assumedly promised herself that she would learn from the experience.
3. Did she not read the full tweet? pic.twitter.com/0Ikkjt6edO
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 11, 2019
Then there was the controversy that followed in which she said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country [Israel].” When called on it, she would later tweet that “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”
Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that! https://t.co/gglAS4FVJW
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 3, 2019
Dual loyalties, of course, is yet another blatantly anti-Semitic trope. This was when Congress acted, if only weakly and in a way that barely even touched on anti-Semitism. After all of the kerfuffle, Omar promised that she would learn — oh, you get the idea.
It’s pretty clear that this is a long record of anti-Semitic behavior — something that Speaker Pelosi “simply declare[d] … to be anti-American.” And now, we have them hugging on the floor of the House of Representatives, all because of Donald Trump’s tweets — tweets, in part, that declared Omar to be anti-American. Maybe that’s not what got people the most angry, but it’s also not that different from what Nancy Pelosi said not long ago.
For her part, Rep. Omar spent this week introducing a resolution in support of the anti-Semitic BDS movement in the House of Representatives. I can pencil in her promise to learn from the experience later. This time, however, don’t plan on hearing any talk of anti-Americanism or how BDS is anti-Semitism “masquerading as policy” from Nancy Pelosi. For better or worse, she’s tied to Ilhan Omar now.
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