House broadens anti-Semitism resolution
by Harvest Prude
Posted 3/08/19, 12:04 pm
WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives passed a resolution Thursday condemning all forms of hatred and bigotry by a 407-23 vote. The resolution originally rebuked anti-Semitism in response to controversial comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. But after days of contention and debate, lawmakers expanded the resolution to cover all forms of racism.
Speaking at a forum at a Washington, D.C., bookstore last week, Omar suggested that pro-Israel political groups push “allegiance to a foreign country.” Critics accused her of resurrecting an anti-Semitic stereotype that Jewish-Americans are more loyal to the state of Israel or other Jews than to the United States. Progressives rushed to Omar’s defense, arguing that bullies were singling her out for being one of two Muslim women in Congress. Omar has apologized for past controversial remarks, but not for this latest statement.
The final House resolution does not mention Omar by name and condemns hatred against “African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others.”
Most Republicans voted with the majority, but 23 lawmakers opposed it, arguing the watered-down version was a sham.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., called out his party for not condemning anti-Semitism more strongly. “I am very disappointed that we weren’t able to have a separate resolution to specifically condemn anti-Semitism and what our colleague said that really was a very hateful term,” he said.
Before departing to visit the tornado-damaged areas of Alabama, President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday that “the Democrats have become an anti-Israel party, and an anti-Jewish party.”
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.