Omar Hangs on at Foreign Affairs Committee

Omar Hangs on at Foreign Affairs Committee

Democrat control of the House of Representatives is already starting to show its influence in ugly ways. The latest and most worrying example is the refusal of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s chairman to remove controversial congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Since entering politics Omar has made a string of blatantly anti-semitic comments, and the Democratic Party has done nothing to rein her in. Since she’s been in Congress, some senior party members seem to have realized that she’s a liability — but others haven’t. Despite continued displays of anti-semitism, she’s still sitting on the influential Foreign Affairs Committee — and its chairman has just said he has no plans to remove her.

Highlights

Ilhan Omar, a devout Muslim born in Mogadishu, Somalia, has been involved in politics since around 2012. From very early on, she started to acquire a reputation for her opposition to Israel. Even in the Democratic Party there’s traditionally been broad support for the Middle East’s only democracy, and just a few years earlier her political career would probably have come to a rapid end. But as the Dems move steadily to the left it seems her views are becoming, if not yet mainstream, at least not beyond the pale.

  • In 2012 Omar tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Since then she’s alleged that Israel uses money to influence foreign countries and that American Jews have divided loyalties.
  • These are all classic anti-semitic tropes, which aim to portray Jews as an insidious and powerful menace. While Omar claims that she’s simply opposed to Israeli foreign policy, and not prejudiced against Jews, her words give the opposite impression.
  • For unknown reasons, the new Democrat-majority House decided to appoint Omar to the Foreign Affairs Committee. This was always going to be controversial because Israel is a significant US ally and features heavily in our foreign policy. Appointing someone known to be hostile to a friendly country — and apparently racially prejudiced against its population — was never likely to make that foreign policy run more smoothly.
  • Since the full extent of Omar’s anti-semitism has become known, some senior and more mainstream Democrats have tried to distance themselves from her. However, they haven’t succeeded in slowing her down, signaling that her brand of Jew-baiting is becoming more acceptable within the party.
  • If anything, more traditional Democrats seem to be bending with the pro-Omar wind. Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) has been an outspoken critic of Omar in the past, but now he’s defending her place on his committee.
  • Incredibly, Engel said that removing Omar from the committee would “exacerbate the situation.” The situation is that, in the US and other western countries, left-wing anti-semitism is becoming a real problem. That situation will be exacerbated by leaving known anti-semites in positions of influence, not by removing them.