Rep. Ilhan Omar (D – Minn.) said that she and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D – Mich.) are accused of anti-Semitism because they are Muslim, the Jewish Insider newsletter reported Thursday.
“What I’m fearful of — because Rashida and I are Muslim — that a lot of our Jewish colleagues,” Omar told an audience gathered in Washington, D.C., “a lot of our constituents, a lot of our allies, go to thinking that everything we say about Israel to be anti-Semitic because we are Muslim.”
Omar went on to say that the charge of anti-Semitism was a means to “end the debate” so that “nobody ever gets to have the broader debate of what is happening with Palestine.”
She then added, “So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Jewish Insider described the comment as suggesting “as Tlaib had in a tweet of her own, dual loyalty among a particular group of Americans.” The comment drew “loud rounds of applause and shouts of affirmation.”
In January, Tlaib said of Republicans that “they forgot what country they represent.”
Commenting on the report in New York magazine’s Intelligencer column, Jonathan Chait observed that Omar’s comment was much worse than her infamous “It’s all about the Benjamins” tweet.
“Accusing Jews of ‘allegiance to a foreign country’ is a historically classic way of delegitimizing their participation in the political system,” Chait wrote.
“Omar is directly invoking the hoary myth of dual loyalty, in which the Americanness of Jews is inherently suspect, and their political participation must be contingent upon proving their patriotism,” he added.
Earlier in the week, prior to suggesting that Jews have dual loyalties, Omar had apologized for her tweet and said, “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
[Photo: Washington Free Beacon / YouTube ]