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February 21, 2019 11:42 am

Rep. Omar Apologizes to Jewish Groups for Latest Round of Antisemitic Tweets

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Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in 2016. Photo: Lorie Shaull via Wikicommons. – US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) apologized via conference call to Jewish groups on Tuesday for her antisemitic tweets last week that blamed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the largest pro-Israel lobbying organization, of paying members of Congress to back Israel.

“Let me reiterate my sincere apology for any actual hurt my words have caused,” said Omar, according to someone present on the off-the-record call, reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I know there are a lot of people who in the last weeks have expressed support in trying to say this isn’t antisemitic or this shouldn’t be looked at in that way.”

The call included the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Americans for Peace Now, the refugee resettlement organization HIAS and Bend the Arc.

On Feb. 11, Omar replied to a Twitter post by journalist Glenn Greenwald about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “[threatening punishment for [Omar] and [Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib] over their criticisms of Israel.”

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“It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation, even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans,” he added.

Omar retweeted Greenwald’s post, adding “It’s all the Benjamins baby.”

Batya Ungar-Sargon, opinion editor for The Forward, responded: “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess. Bad form, Congresswoman.”

Without specifying, she added, “That’s the second anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted.”

Replying to Ungar-Sargon, Omar, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, tweeted: “AIPAC!”

Amid backlash from both Democrats and Republicans, along with outside pressure, Omar publicly apologized for her remarks.

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