Rep. Omar to apologize - but only to leftist groups

Rep. Ilhan Omar invites leaders of left-wing Jewish groups to conference call in order to apologize for her anti-Semitic tweets.

Ben Ariel,

Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) plans to apologize for her anti-Semitic tweets, but has only invited leaders of left-wing Jewish groups to the conference call in which she will issue the apology, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, Omar’s office sent invitations to multiple Jewish groups, both in Washington and in New York, to the off-the-record phone call.

Omar’s office, said Haaretz, invited representatives mostly from Jewish groups that oppose Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and are generally affiliated with progressive, left-wing politics, to participate in the conference call.

The invitation stated that the purpose of the call is to express Ilhan's apology and hear how the ordeal impacted the Jewish community.

Her office wrote in the invitation: “We are convening this call in hopes that it is the first step to healing the damage her words have caused, building a better relationship with you and your organizations, and finding ways to work together on a number of different issues, including combatting anti-Semitism and religious bigotry of all kinds.”

Omar, a Muslim, caused an uproar after she responded on Twitter to a threat two days earlier by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to take action against her because of her past statements on Israel by saying, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby”, a reference to $100 bill featuring Benjamin Franklin.

Her seeming implication that McCarthy was attacking her at the behest of the pro-Israel lobby was made clear with her subsequent response to a tweet by Batya Ungar-Sargon, an editor at The Forward, who tweeted, “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess.”

“AIPAC!” Omar replied.

Democratic leaders blasted Omar for her comments, as did Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton, who said, “We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.”

Jewish organizations, including the National Council for Young Israel and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, also denounced Omar.

President Donald Trump also weighed in on the comments and said Omar should resign from Congress.

In an attempt to do damage control, Omar last week apologized for the tweets though she also said she reaffirms “the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It's gone on too long and we must be willing to address it."