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A New Anti-Semitic Allegation Is Jolting the House

Rep. Ilhan Omar may be rebuked, but she's pushing back against critics
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2019 11:40 AM CST
In this Feb. 5, 2019, photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., arrives for President Trump's State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. Omar’s latest remarks about...   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – It's easy to name the newest member of Congress making the most headlines: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But another freshman lawmaker continues to generate controversy of her own, and it's about to intensify this week. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim Somali-American, is again under fire for statements seen as anti-Semitic. And while the Minnesota representative has apologized previously for similar controversies, this time she is doubling down while denying the anti-Semitic allegations. The details of what's going on:

  • What she said: Speaking last week in reference to Israel and its supporters in the US, Omar said, "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country," reports NPR.
  • The backlash: Critics pounced on that statement as anti-Semitic, including Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League. "Accusing Jews of having allegiance to a foreign government has long been a vile anti-Semitic slur that has been used to harass, marginalize, and persecute the Jewish people for centuries," wrote Greenblatt to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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