Ocasio-Cortez: Ilhan Omar subject of double standard in Congress

House Democrats have taken to Twitter and advanced a resolution to condemn antisemitism — without naming Omar.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
March 6, 2019 16:10
3 minute read.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) looks on during a march organised by the Women's March Alliance

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) looks on during a march organised by the Women's March Alliance in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., January 19, 2019. (photo credit: CAITLIN OCHS/REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

WASHINGTON — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weighed in on the Ilhan Omar controversy, saying it is “hurtful” that colleagues have reprimanded her fellow House freshman over alleged anti-Semitic remarks but have been less forthcoming about bigotry aimed at other groups.

House Democrats have taken to Twitter and advanced a resolution to condemn antisemitism — without naming Omar — after the Minnesota Democrat twice suggested that supporters for Israel are demanding “allegiance to a foreign country.”

Ocasio-Cortez, the New York Democrat who has become a party superstar, counseled a less confrontational approach in dealing with comments like Omar’s.

“One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx and other communities,” Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday morning on Twitter.

“‘Calling out’ is one of the measures of last resort, not 1st or 2nd resort,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We do it when repeated attempts to ‘call in’ are disrespected or ignored. And I believe that Ilhan, in her statement a few weeks ago, has demonstrated a willingness to listen+work with impacted communities.”



Omar has apologized for past and more recent tweets that invoke anti-Semitic tropes, including one from 2012 in which she said Israel “hypnotized” the world, and another more recently in which she said that pro-Israel lobbyists pay off lawmakers for their support. After the second incident she thanked “Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”

But last week she reset the fire when she said at a town hall that supporters of Israel “push for allegiance to a foreign country.”


That prompted a fraught exchange on Twitter with Jewish members of the caucus who said her remarks recall the “dual loyalty” charge often leveled at Jews. The resolution that Democrats are advancing this week decries antisemitism.

“If we called [for] resolutions on sexist statements, a good chunk of Congress would be gone,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her Twitter thread. “To jump to the nuclear option every time leaves no room for corrective action. So I ask *everyone* that we practice calling in before calling out.”

On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez took on a fellow Democrat, Juan Vargas of California, who also criticized Omar. Vargas said on Twitter: “It is disturbing that Rep. Omar continues to perpetuate hurtful antisemitic stereotypes that misrepresent our Jewish community. Additionally, questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.”

“I‘m curious if Rep. Vargas will further explain his stance here that it’s unacceptable to even *question* US foreign policy,” Ocasio-Cortez said.



President Donald Trump noted the controversy on his Twitter feed, referring to a petition asking Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the House speaker, to remove Omar from the influential Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Representative Ilhan Omar is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel,” Trump said late Monday. “Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!”



The petition was signed by 11 groups, two of which are not Jewish. Only one, the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, is a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The others are conservative and would not normally get a hearing from a Democratic speaker.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

July 20, 2019
Trump makes his week of ‘send them back’ about the Jews

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA

Cookie Settings