(March 25, 2019 / JNS) House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) delivered an indirect rebuke on Sunday against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for making anti-Semitic statements.
“When someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: Accuse me,” said Hoyer to a standing ovation at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.
This came in reference to Omar, who accused AIPAC last month of paying members of Congress to back Israel. “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” posted the congresswoman in a now-deleted tweet.
Hoyer also said, “I’ve been proud to help lead efforts in Congress to push back against the BDS movement. And I will push for a bipartisan resolution that puts Congress on record that BDS must be condemned.”
The congressional leader told JNS last month that he hopes to move along a passed Senate bill that, if enacted, would impose fresh sanctions on Syria, boost security cooperation with Israel and Jordan, and allow state and local governments the right to punish state or local contractors from boycotting Israel.
“[House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman] Eliot Engel and I are talking about it, and hopefully, we’ll move something soon,” said Hoyer.
The anti-BDS component of the legislation has divided Democrats.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff and Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are among the main speakers scheduled to address the conference, which takes place until Tuesday, just weeks before Israelis go to the polls on April 9.