Democratic Leader Throws Omar Under the Bus During Pro-Israel AIPAC Conference

Jim Young/Reuters; Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called out a few freshman members of his party, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), during a speech at a conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — a pro-Israel group that Omar has repeatedly criticized.

As IJR previously reported, Omar has been in hot water with the Democratic Party’s leadership over several anti-Semitic comments she made. She received a written condemnation of her comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after she claimed that people only supported AIPAC because of the “Benjamins,” alluding to an anti-Semitic trope.

While the leadership team organized a half-hearted condemnation, a few freshman members sided with Omar, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), both of whom have had anti-Semitic controversies of their own.

During his speech at AIPAC, Hoyer called out Omar for her claims that supporters of Israel have dual loyalty to the United States, a claim the U.S. State Department has included in its definition of anti-Semitism.

“I stand with Israel, proudly and unapologetically. So, when someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: Accuse me. I am part of a large, bipartisan coalition in Congress supporting Israel. I tell Israel’s detractors: Accuse us.”

Hoyer revealed that he, along with a few dozen freshman members of Congress, would be traveling to Israel later in the year to get a better understanding of the difficulties Israel faces:

“This August, I will travel with what I expect will be our largest delegation ever – probably more than thirty Democratic Members of Congress, including many freshmen. They will see first-hand the threats and challenges faced by Israel and its people as well as their extraordinary courage and achievements.”

While he tried to focus on the members he would be traveling with, he also took a jab at Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Tlaib, stating that there are more than 60 freshman members of the Democratic Party, not just three.

Hoyer’s subtle jabs at the three fresh faces of the Democratic Party caused a wave on Twitter as the left-leaning crowd split to side with Omar.

This rift in the Democratic Party over support for Israel and the new wave of outspoken freshman members is clearly going to be a point of contention for a while.

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Phyllis Softa
Member

If one criticizes a country’s policy, does it make them anti that country? We have a lot of Americans then that are anti-America. We have non-supporters of Obamacare, non-supporters of separation of families policy, non-supporters of a free press and freedom of religion.But I call them uninformed, not anti-American.

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