The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) expressed outrage after 211 Democratic House members voted in support of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), describing their choice as causing “disappointment, deep offense, even fear, and a sense of betrayal.”
Describing Omar as “an antisemite and hater of Israel and America,” ZOA applauded the 218 Republican House members who voted to remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
But they added that “it is outrageous that Democratic members, including many Jews, placed their partisan concerns above the need to remove a clearly bigoted member of the committee, who is promoting and legitimizing antisemitism and Israel-bashing.”
With the GOP holding only a slim majority in the chamber, the move came after a small group of Republicans who had sided against booting Omar from the committee changed their minds.
The vote took place along party lines after a tense floor debate, with 218 Republicans voting to remove her from the committee and 211 Democrats voting against the measure. One Republican, David Joyce (R-OH), voted present, the New York Post reported.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had sought to block Omar from the committee due to her offensive criticisms of Israel and past statements that contained antisemitic tropes.
ZOA asserted that contrary to the talking points being spread by the left, the move was not partisan and the claim that it was done out of discrimination because she is a Black African Muslim woman immigrant was “an absurd idea... that is clearly false,” pointing out that Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) were also removed from their committees.
“The comments made by Rep. Omar were recognized by many Democratic members of Congress to be intolerable and completely unacceptable, and she herself made a fake apology for her words following the uproar her comments provoked. ZOA supported her removal for these outrageous comments,” ZOA said.
They slammed Omar for proving “her apology was insincere” during her recent CNN interview in which she claimed she was unaware that the word “hypnotized” and conspiracy theories about Jews and money were anti-Jewish tropes.
“I might have used words at the time that I didn’t understand were trafficking in antisemitism,” Omar told CNN.
ZOA National President Morton Klein described being “outraged and actually frightened” by what he termed the “betrayal of almost half the members of the House of Representatives who so quickly de-prioritize their disapproval of antisemitism in voting to support this Jew-hating member of Congress.”
“It is shocking that partisan concerns are more important than their core American values,” he said. “This is particularly true for the 27 Jewish members of Congress. I am sorry to observe the fact that all the votes for Omar came from the Democratic side of the aisle, making a mockery of the supposed concern for Israel and against antisemitism in the party.”
Klein stressed that even “if Omar had never said a single antisemitic word in her life, she still should have been removed from the Foreign Affairs committee, because she is so anti-American and does not believe Israel should even exist.”
“She opposes all sanctions against Iran, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, but believes in one exception – Israel should be boycotted and sanctioned,” he said. “She has asked judges for sympathy for convicted ISIS terrorists. She has condemned Jews for caring more about Israel than America. She speaks at CAIR conferences even though they have sympathies to terrorist groups and hate and condemn America’s greatest ally.”
“Her removal from this committee is earned by her own outrageous conduct,” he added.