Senator and 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) accused House Democrat leadership of targeting Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as lawmakers draft a resolution condemning antisemitism prompted by her latest anti-Jewish remarks.
In a statement Wednesday, Sanders called antisemitism a “hateful and dangerous ideology” that must be “vigorously opposed” in the worldwide. “We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel. Rather, we must develop an even-handed Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace.”
“What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate. That’s wrong,” the self-avowed democratic socialist added.
Sanders’ vague statement did not explicitly lump in Omar’s recent comments with “legitimate criticism,” but he has provided no clarity on the statements themselves — so far failing to condemn her repeated use of antisemitic tropes like dual loyalty or Israeli control of U.S. politicians.
Omar became the flashpoint on this topic after she suggested last week that Israel’s supporters are pushing U.S. lawmakers to take a pledge of “allegiance to a foreign country.” It is at least the third time she has forced older, pro-Israel Democrats who run the House into awkward territory over U.S.-Israeli policy.