Why does Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) still have her position on the House Foreign Relations Committee? House Republicans stripped Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) of his committee positions after making his own controversial remarks. Omar should have met the same fate. But considering recent history, it’s not surprising that Omar remains unpunished. It’s just the latest example of their party turning a blind eye to the rise of anti-Semitism in their ranks over the years—if not embracing it at times. Perhaps the most shocking thing was Omar’s subsequent criticism of Barack Obama, calling his “hope and change” slogan a mirage. “We can’t be only upset with Trump,” she said. “His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was.” She added, “And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.” Ouch. This was shocking because Omar should have thanked Obama. If not for his “pretty face” and smile, she likely would have experienced the public rebuke she deserved and lost her spot on the House Foreign Relations Committee. But, after eight years of anti-Semitism disguised as opposition to longstanding U.S. policy on Israel, the anti-Semitism she preached (and continues to preach) has become far more palatable in her party.
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