House Removes Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee Over Antisemitic Remarks

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House Removes Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee Over Antisemitic Remarks

Lorie Shaull / CC BY-SA

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to remove Representative Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee over her long history of making antisemitic remarks. The resolution introduced by Representative Max Miller, one of two Jewish Republicans in the House, passed 218–211 along party lines. “Omar has disqualified herself from serving on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, a panel that is viewed by nations around the world as speaking for Congress on matters of international importance and national security,” said Miller.

The Republican justification for the removal of Omar stems from her own racist comments, in which she suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she said, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” This came off as an antisemitic trope to many. Omar has also accused some Jewish Americans of having “allegiance to a foreign country,” and described the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. that killed nearly 3,000 people as “some people did something.” Omar has also Israel an “apartheid state,” and “lumped the U.S. and Israel in with Hamas and the Taliban as political entities that have committed unthinkable atrocities.”

Omar along with many other Democrats accused the Republicans of racism for targeting Omar because she is Muslim. “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa,” Omar said. “Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also fired back at the vote, “Consistency? There is nothing consistent with the Republican Party’s continued attack, except for the racism and incitement of violence against women of color in this body,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This is about targeting women of color in the United States of America.”

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