In the wake of comments from Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar that many perceived to antisemitic, infighting has emerged within the Democratic party as GOP calls for some sort of action to be taken against Omar intensified.
In a response to the outrage this Thursday, Democrats put forth a compromise in the form of a resolution that condemned bigotry and “hateful expressions of intolerance,” but a good deal of Republicans — 23 to be exact — thought the statements didn’t single out Omar specifically enough and voted against it.
From The Washington Post:
Doing so put them in an awkward position: By opposing a resolution that denounced hate and bigotry, they could plausibly be seen as supporting those things. In public statements and floor speeches, most of the dissenters clarified that they were strongly opposed to hatred and discrimination but simply couldn’t get behind the measure. While their explanations varied, many criticized Democrats for not doing more to rebuke Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose remarks criticizing supporters of Israel were seen by some as anti-Semitic, sparking the uproar that prompted the crafting of the resolution.
Omar voted in favor of the resolution as well, which passed 407-23 on Thursday. The only dissenting votes came from Republicans.
In light of the 23 “no” votes from Republicans, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wondered where the outrage was.
“Where’s the outrage over the 23 GOP members who voted NO on a resolution condemning bigotry today?” AOC tweeted Thursday night.
“Oh, there’s none?” she asked sarcastically. “Did they get called out, raked over, ambushed in halls and relentlessly asked why not? No? Okay. Got it.”
Where’s the outrage over the 23 GOP members who voted NO on a resolution condemning bigotry today?
Oh, there’s none?
Did they get called out, raked over, ambushed in halls and relentlessly asked why not?
No? Okay. Got it.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 8, 2019
AOC has defended Omar from the outset, saying that the backlash against her comments were a “little too hard.”
“I think it’s a learning experience, and it’s part of the fact that when we elect the most diverse Democratic caucus that we have in pretty much ever, it means that we have new communities at the table, new conversations that need to be had, and we have to learn how to have conversations differently every time,” AOC said.
“So I think it’s just part of a learning process that we have as a country, frankly,” she added.
Omar came under fire after she criticized the US-Israel relationship by using rhetoric that many said reflected antisemitic tropes. Last month, she suggesting U.S. politicians support Israel because they receive money from the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), tweeting “it’s all about the Benjamins.” She has since apologized for the comments.
Controversy sparked up again when Omar said last week that pro-Israel figures push “allegiance to a foreign country,” which is another statement many see as an antisemitic dog whistle.