Freshman House Democrat Ilhan Omar, one of the few Muslims in Congress, said Monday she "unequivocally" apologizes for tweets that were condemned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats as anti-Semitic.
Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar has relished the attention attached to becoming one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, eagerly engaging with supporters and critics on social media.
Although her statements were backed up, Omar faced an onslaught of outrage from a wide range of commenters, from Chelsea Clinton to President Donald Trump, who said she should be "ashamed of herself". "This is why I unequivocally apologise".
This is the latest in a series remarks some deem as "anti-Semitic tropes" Omar has peppered across her Twitter account since 2012 when Omar tweeted "Israel has hypnotized the world".
She also had a run-in with a Washington, DC, taxi driver who she said called her "ISIS".
"Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes", Omar of Minnesota wrote on Twitter. She was referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the National Rifle Association. According to Sarsour, opposition to Omar's tweet is created to "stifle free speech in favor of Palestinians and in opposition to Israeli policies", not crack down on anti-Semitism in Democratic ranks.
Omar is one of a handful of high-profile freshmen Democratic women, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY and Rashida Tlaib of MI, who often use social media to speak to their followers and lash out at criticism.
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"We must speak out when any member - Democrat or Republican - uses harmful tropes and stereotypes, levels accusations of dual loyalty, or makes reckless statements like those yesterday", they wrote. "She wants to see a great country, and I look forward to working with her".
"I think the right thing to do is to apologize, engage, to listen and I'm sure she's going to do all of that", Ellison said. The phrase "it's all about the Benjamins baby" was popularized by a 1997 single by Puff Daddy featuring Lil' Kim, The Lox and The Notorious B.I.G., taken from the hit album "No Way Out".
For weeks, congressional Republicans have criticized Omar's placement on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and both women for what the Republicans see as anti-Semitic rhetoric in their past, but the letter was the first official act by some of their own Democratic colleagues.
"And now, we have those same members - many of them tripping over each other, running away from the House floor, so they don't have to condemn anti-Semitism".
However, Luria and Gottheimer point to the recent support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is "anti-Semitic".
Now that the Senate's bill has moved to the House, however, where Democrats hold a sizeable majority, internal debate regarding Israel threatens to drive a wedge between stalwart Democrats and the more progressive and pro-Palestinian voices within the party, including Tlaib and Omar.