Several Jewish and pro-Israel groups welcomed received news of the likely removal of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, in the wake of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) long-standing pledge.
The new Congress with its Republican majority in the House of Representatives will be sworn in next month and McCarthy is the frontrunner to be elected speaker.
Omar’s antisemitic and anti-Israel comments include when she accused the Jewish state of having “hypnotized the world,” accused Jews of buying control of Congress, called Israel an “apartheid state,” and likened Israel to the Taliban and Hamas terrorist groups.
“Look at Congresswoman Omar, her antisemitic comments that have gone forward. We’re not going to allow her to be on Foreign Affairs,” McCarthy vowed during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, has criticized Omar for her long history of antisemitic comments. The pro-Israel lobby group took aim at far-left organization J Street for its recent statement in support of Omar.
“J Street says it’s a ‘false accusation’ to call Rep. Ilhan Omar anti-Israel,” AIPAC posted on Twitter. “A false accusation? J Street is defending one of the most vocal anti-Israel critics in Congress.”
The ire of Jewish and pro-Israel groups
With Republicans winning a narrow majority in the House, it looks increasingly likely that McCarthy’s long-standing pledge will come to fruition. Omar’s history of antisemitic and anti-Israel comments has earned the ire of Jewish and pro-Israel groups.
“Any member of Congress, regardless of party, who has accused American Jews of dual loyalty, suggested we manipulate the political process, and who calls Israel an apartheid state, should not be holding such a prestigious committee assignment,” B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin said in a statement to JNS.
“RJC has been calling for Ilhan Omar’s removal from the House Foreign Committee for nearly 3 years,” the Republican Jewish Coalition posted on Twitter. “Democrats totally abdicated responsibility to hold her accountable for vile anti-Israel & antisemitic rhetoric. The new House GOP Majority will do what Democrats refused to do.”
McCarthy’s pledge was also warmly received by Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein, in a statement to JNS.
“We urged Rep. McCarthy to remove Jew-hating, Israel-bashing Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee and strongly support his stance,” Klein said. “There must be negative consequences to Omar’s unbridled Jew-hatred to send a clear message that such bigotry won’t be tolerated.”
Although Republicans flipped control of the House in last month’s midterm elections, McCarthy faces opposition from a handful of conservatives in his own conference and a fragile path to the Speakership next year.