Radical Palestinian Group Gloats as Pelosi Caves to Political Pressure
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caved to radical activists by watering down a resolution condemning antisemitism in reaction to Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s antisemitic outbursts.
Pelosi showed more determination after Omar’s statements last month, when Omar alleged that Congressional support for Israel was “All about the Benjamins, baby,” invoking a stereotype of Jewish money controlling US policy.
“We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments,” Pelosi said. Now Pelosi claims that Omar’s comments alleging a dual loyalty among Jews were not “intended in an antisemitic way,” according to what Pelosi said on Thursday.
Radical left-wing activists, including Linda Sarsour, representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), demanded that Pelosi and the Democratic leadership back away from condemning Omar on Wednesday during a rally at the Supreme Court.
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad complained that Israel has undue influence on Congress and US foreign policy. Awad notably attended a 1993 meeting of Hamas activists in Philadelphia that plotted to subvert the Oslo Accords.
Ramah Kudaimi, director of programs and operations with the USCPR, argued that Democrats should focus on antisemitism coming from the Republican Party, which she claimed has deepened “their relationship with white supremacists, white nationalists, and right-wing Israel forces — forces that thrive on Islamophobia and racism.”
Kudaimi charged that Pelosi was “implying that attacks on Muslim refugee women of color for their political stances are acceptable” by considering an earlier version of the resolution that only targeted antisemitism.
The USCPR coordinates boycott and sanctions campaigns against Israel. A Tablet investigation found that it “helps facilitate tax-exempt donations to a Palestinian coalition that includes Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”
A letter to Pelosi signed by Sarsour and more than 600 left-wing activists claimed that attacks against Omar were “rooted in both racism and Islamophobia.” It called on Pelosi to condemn “anti-Black racism and xenophobia.”
These radicals got just what they wanted. Instead of singularly condemning antisemitism, the new resolution decries “the reality of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry, as well as the historical struggles against them.” A passing reference to Omar’s claim that Jews have a divided loyalty appears buried on the fourth page of the document — in paragraph 18. Plenty of mention of white supremacist hatred of Jews can be found in the document, but the Muslim antisemitism that created this controversy to begin with is absent.
The USCPR issued a fundraising letter on Thursday thanking supporters for pressuring Pelosi. “You did it, Friend,” it said. “Here’s the proof that your voice matters and people power works! In response to your calls and our collective organizing with partners across the progressive spectrum, the Democratic leadership is backing down from a resolution that would single out Rep. Ilhan Omar with false charges of antisemitism” [emphasis original].
John Rossomando is a senior analyst at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.