Omar Releases StatementBy Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar is apologizing for a series of controversial and anti-Semitic tweets.

This comes at the urging of both Democrat and Republican leaders.

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But as Esme Murphy reports, this is not the first time Rep. Omar has been attacked for these kinds of comments. In 2012, Omar tweeted “Israel has hypnotized the world” and in the spring of 2018 she posted, “Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews.”

The latest controversial tweets from Omar suggest Jews are buying political support. She tweeted about “the Benjamins baby,” a reference to a song about $100 bills, and AIPAC a pro-Israeli lobbying group. The Jewish Committee Relations Council of Minnesota says the references are clear.

“To resort to age-old stereotypes about Jews using money to buy influence is terrible, particularly in the year 2019 we should all know better,” said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC said,

AIPAC issued a statement saying, “We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work.”

Jennifer Carnahan, the chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, said that Omar’s tweets showed that she has “deep-seated anti-Semitic views.”

“There’s no place for this in Congress or among our Minnesota congressional delegation,” Carnahan wrote in a statement. “Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar and all of Minnesota’s Democrat delegation should not be silent, and should condemn Rep. Omar for her continued anti-Semitism.”

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Carnahan added that Rep. Omar should be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“The level of hate and continuous anti-Semitic behavior from Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is scary and irresponsible,” said Carnahan. “While House Democrat leaders sent out a statement denouncing Rep. Omar’s acts, that is not enough. She must be pulled from the House Foreign Affairs Committee immediately.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Leaders denounced Omar’s statements saying, “We condemn these remarks and call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize.”

Shortly afterward, Omar issued her own statement, saying, “Anti-Semitism is real,” and that she unequivocally apologizes.

When WCCO asked Steve Hunegs if he accepted her apology. He said, “Let us see what happens going forward. We all want to be able to accept her apology. Words of contrition backed up by action will tell the tale at the end of the day.”

In her apology Omar says she will continue to address what she calls the problematic role of lobbying groups including AIPAC.

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Omar has been a longtime critic of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Esme Murphy