Ilhan Omar
Ilhan OmarReuters

The Republican majority House on Thursday voted to kick Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) off the Foreign Affairs Committee over past antisemitic statements.

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.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sought to block Omar from the committee due to her criticisms of Israel and its government and past statements that contained antisemitic tropes.

Omar came under fire in 2019 after she suggested on Twitter that Republicans were attacking her at the behest of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.

She subsequently issued a half-hearted apology before ultimately deleting the controversial tweets.

In another incident, Omar shared to Twitter a video of a conversation she had with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in which she appeared to compare Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban.

After 12 of the 25 Jewish Democrats in the US House of Representatives published a statement criticizing Omar’s assertion, she fired back at her Jewish colleagues and said, “It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for ‘clarification’ and not just call.”

She later issued another clarification and claimed she had been misunderstood.

Asked earlier this week about her past antisemitic statements, Omar told CNN that she was not aware that her comments could be viewed as antisemitic.

She accused Republicans of Islamophobia, claiming, "It is politically motivated, and in some cases motivated by the fact that many of these members don't believe a Muslim refugee, an African, should even be in Congress, let alone have the opportunity to serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee."

House Republicans listed six past statements Omar made while in office that “under the totality of the circumstances, disqualify her from serving on the Committee of Foreign Affairs,” Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) said.

“All members, both Republicans and Democrats alike who seek to serve on Foreign Affairs, should be held to the highest standard of conduct due to the international sensitivity and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”

The text of the resolution, brought forward by Rep. Max Miller (R-OH), read: “Omar’s comments have brought dishonor to the House of Representatives... Omar clearly cannot be an objective decision-maker on the Foreign Affairs Committee given her biases against Israel and the Jewish people.”

Foreign Affairs Committee chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) said he was in favor of removing Omar from the assignment given that her “worldview of Israel is so diametrically opposed to the committee’s.”

“I don’t mind having differences of opinion, but this goes beyond that,” he told reporters.