For years now, our political systems have been tainted by the scourge of antisemitism, despite 70-some years of unending reminders of just why we must remain vigilant against such discrimination.
Even in the 21st century, a time that many of our forefathers believed might be mercifully devoid of racism and bigotry, we see the Jewish people under attack, from Israel’s hotly debated borders all the way to the halls of the US Capitol.
In 2023, the Republican Party is putting their foot down, however.
The House voted Thursday to kick Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar off the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a decision that Republicans vowed to take because of Omar’s history of anti-Semitic and anti-American remarks.
The resolution was approved in a 218-211 vote after a heated debate in which Democrats accused Republicans of racism and hypocrisy and claimed that the GOP is only policing Democrats for questionable behavior. Omar and several other Democrats openly accused Republicans of racism.
“I am Muslim, I am an immigration, 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.”
But the GOP was ready to fire back on those accusations.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., said she has seen Omar’s anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism firsthand.
“As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I’ve sat there and heard the representative actually spew anti-American rhetoric as well,” Malliotakis said of Omar. “I’ve been in that committee room where the representative equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”
The Republican justification for removing Omar from the committee was spelled out in the four-page resolution. It states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she said, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” which struck many – including many Democrats – as an anti-Semitic trope.
Previous, Democrat-controlled congressional bodies have similarly removed single members from committee assignments over their behavior, lending a rather succinct and undeniable precedence to the maneuver.