Ilhan Omar: US House to vote amid anti-Semitism row
|bbc.com 07 Mar 2019 at 17:19|
The US House of Representatives will vote Thursday to condemn "hateful expressions of intolerance" amid a row over anti-Semitism.
Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar has prompted sharp objections recently for frequently criticising Israel and pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington.
Her Democratic party has split over how and whether to censure the freshman lawmaker.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has denied the resolution was made to rebuke Ms Omar.
"It s not about her. It s about these forms of hatred," Ms Pelosi told reporters, denying suggestions the measure was "policing the speech of our members".
Ms Pelosi has previously said she does not believe Ms Omar understood "the weight of her words".
Some Democrats had pushed for a vote purely condemning anti-Semitism, but the resolution has broadened and does not mention Ms Omar by name.
Speaking at an event on Friday, the congresswoman questioned what she termed "the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country", in reference to pro-Israel lobbying.
Critics from both parties attacked the 37-year-old, saying her comments revived anti-Semitic tropes of Jewish Americans having divided loyalties.
New York s Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio called the remarks "absolutely unacceptable" and "illogical".
"Unfortunately, it aligns with a history - for centuries - of that kind of negative comment being thrown at the Jewish community," he said at a press conference.
US President Donald Trump also criticised Ms Omar, saying she was again "under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel".
Representative Ilhan Omar is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel. Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!