'We must call it out!' Chuck Schumer slams Ilhan Omar, comparing her comments about Israel to Trump's remarks on neo-Nazis

  • A few top Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, yet again condemned comments that Rep. Ilhan Omar made about Israel during an AIPAC conference on Tuesday.
  • Schumer appeared to compare Omar’s argument that lobbyist money influences US lawmakers’ support for Israel to President Donald Trump’s remark that there were “very fine people” among neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville in 2017.
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a fellow Democrat, also called out Omar’s comments at the AIPAC conference.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mocked Omar’s “All about the Benjamins” tweet.

A few top Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, yet again condemned comments that Rep. Ilhan Omar made criticising Israel and US-Israeli relations at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual conference on Tuesday.

Schumer, who is himself Jewish, appeared to compare Omar’s argument that lobbyist money influences US lawmakers’ support for Israel to President Donald Trump’s remark that there were “very fine people” among neo-Nazi marchers in Charlottesville in 2017.

“When someone says being Jewish and supporting Israel means you’re not loyal to America, we must call it out,” Schumer said. “When someone looks at a neo-Nazi rally and sees some ‘very fine people’ among its company, we must call it out. When someone suggests that money drives support for Israel, we must call it out.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also panned Omar’s comments, some of which were interpreted as accusing American Jewish lawmakers of “dual loyalty” to Israel, at the AIPAC conference.

“I stand with Israel, proudly and unapologetically. So, when someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: accuse me,” said Hoyer, the second ranked Democrat in the House.

Omar, a freshman Minnesota Democrat, defended herself on Tuesday, telling reporters that AIPAC members and supporters are “fearful” of her.

“It’s been interesting to see such a powerful conference of people be so fearful of a freshman member of Congress so I hope that they figure out a way to not allow me to have a permanent residency in their heads,” Omar said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also took the opportunity to make a jab at Omar at the conference.

In remarks delivered to the AIPAC gathering via satellite, Netanyahu said, “Take it from this Benjamin, it’s not about the Benjamins!” The leader was apparently referring to Omar’s suggestion last month that US-Israel policy is “all about the Benjamins” and heavily influenced by lobbyists.

Omar responded to Netanyahu’s slight in a tweet, writing, “This from a man facing indictments for bribery and other crimes in three separate public corruption affairs. Next!”


Read more:
Congressional Democrats condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar over ‘anti-Semitic’ tweets about AIPAC and Israel

In late February, Israel’s attorney general announced that his office planned to indict Netanyahu on corruption charges. The announcement came as Netanyahu is running for reelection in the country’s national elections, which are scheduled for April 9th.

Omar has faced accusations of anti-Semitism over her recent comments, which led her to issue an apology last month. Separate remarks made by Omar in February led House Democratic leaders to draft a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, which was later broadened to condemn all forms of bigotry.

Trump has argued that the Democratic Party is anti-Israel and anti-Jewish, despite the fact that 32 of the 34 Jewish lawmakers in Congress are Democrats.

John Haltiwanger contributed to this report.

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