House broadly condemns hate after anti-Semitism dispute

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., walks to the chamber Thursday, March 7, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington, as the House was preparing to vote on a resolution to speak out against, as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, "anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-white supremacy and all the forms that it takes," an action sparked by remarks from Omar. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., sits with fellow Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee during a bill markup, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. AP

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters during her weekly news conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, March 7, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite

Published: 3/7/2019 5:58:15 PM

Divided in debate but mostly united in a final vote, the House passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other bigotry Thursday, with Democrats trying to push past a dispute that has overwhelmed their agenda and exposed fault lines that could dog them through elections next year.

The one-sided 407-23 vote belied the emotional infighting over how to respond to freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar’s recent comments suggesting House supporters of Israel have dual allegiances. For days, Democrats wrestled with whether or how to punish the lawmaker, arguing over whether Omar, one of two Muslim-American women in Congress, should be singled out, what other types of bias should be decried and whether the party would tolerate dissenting views on Israel.

Republicans generally joined in the favorable vote, though nearly two-dozen opposed the measure.

Generational as well as ideological, the upheaval was fueled in part by young, liberal lawmakers – and voters – who have become a face of the newly empowered Democratic majority in the House. This group is critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, rejecting the conservative leader’s approach to Palestinians and other issues.

The group split sharply from Democratic leaders who seemed caught off guard by the support for Omar and unprepared for the debate.

The resolution passed Thursday condemns anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities “as hateful expressions of intolerance.”

Some Democrats complained that Omar’s comments had ignited the action after years of President Donald Trump’s racially charged rhetoric led to no similar congressional action.

The seven-page document details a history of recent attacks not only against Jews in the United States but also Muslims, as it condemns all such discrimination as contradictory to “the values and aspirations” of the people of the United States. The vote was delayed for a time on Thursday to include mention of Latinos to address concerns of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

The addition came under a section that stated in the end, “Whereas white supremacists in the United States have exploited and continue to exploit bigotry and weaponize hate for political gain, targeting traditionally persecuted peoples, including African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others with verbal attacks, incitement, and violence.”




Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy