Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes after bipartisan backlash to Tweet called antisemitic

Omar was widely criticized after she suggested that Republicans support Israel because of lobby money.

Susie Jones
February 11, 2019 - 1:44 pm

(Photo by Mark Vancleave/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS/Sipa USA)

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Freshman Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar  has apologized “unequivocally” after a bipartisan backlash to a Tweet she published that many regarded as antisemitic. 

Her apology also came via Twitter: 

"My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize," her statement read. 

The apology came after a statement from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and other members of House Democratic leadership saying that antisemitism has to be called out "without exception."

"Legitimate criticism of Israel's policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share," the statement read. "But Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments."

Omar was widely criticized after she suggested that Republicans support Israel because of lobby money from The American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

In her tweet, she wrote, "It's all about the Benjamins baby."

Minnesota Senate Majority leader Paul Gazelka responded in a tweet to Omar saying that there is no place in America for anti-Semitism. "It's a combination of other quotes that she's made this year and I decided I'm going to take a stand," he told reporters on Monday.

He also said he didn't think that in the Senate Victory Fund, very little money comes from the Jewish community.

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