House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and other congressional Democrats have assured incumbent progressive Democrats—including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who has a long antisemitic history—that they will back them in the 2024 U.S. elections.
“Rep. Omar has been elected by her constituents three times and has consistently stood up for them, including through her service on the House Budget Committee,” Jeffries stated. “As House democratic leader, I vigorously endorse her re-election and stand with her as we battle extreme MAGA Republicans for the future of our nation.”
Neither the House majority leader’s office nor spokesmen for Omar and for more than two dozen Jewish members of Congress responded to queries from JNS.
Earlier this month, Jeffries led two dozen House Democrats on a six-day trip to Israel, sponsored by a group affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
AIPAC aims to oust Omar and other anti-Israel lawmakers, per reporting in Jewish Insider. Marshall Wittmann, an AIPAC spokesman, declined to comment to JNS on Jeffries’ endorsement of Omar.
Mark Mellman, president and CEO of Democratic Majority for Israel, defended Jeffries’ endorsement. “Leader Jeffries has a tremendous record of support for the Jewish community and the State of Israel,” Mellman told JNS. “It is customary for the leaders of both parties to endorse all their incumbent co-partisans.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) supports “Republican antisemites, racists, white nationalists and, of course, election deniers,” Mellman charged. “The difference is that while leader Jeffries has condemned antisemitic statements made by Congresswoman Omar, Speaker McCarthy has been reluctant to criticize such statements by members of his caucus.”
JNS asked about McCarthy’s decision not to endorse former Iowa Republican congressman Steve King when he faced a 2020 primary challenge. (The Republican Jewish Coalition endorsed King’s challenger.)
Rachel Rosen, chief communications officer for Democratic Majority for Israel, responded, “Please see Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Thomas Massie, Paul Gosar, etc. etc.”