Ocasio-Cortez defends Omar in anti-Semitism controversy

Ocasio-Cortez said Omar was being held to unfair censure in comparison to other members of the House. 

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) defended fellow freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who is embroiled in an anti-Semitism controversy, arguing a double standard is at work.

Ocasio-Cortez said on Tuesday that it was unfair that Omar was being subjected to a higher level of condemnation than other House members who make statements against other minorities.

“One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

The argument that a double standard is at work was echoed by an MSNBC panel on Tuesday, using Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks as a jumping-off point. The Washington Free Beacon reports that MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell said Ocasio-Cortez has “got a point.”

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MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capeheart made a further argument in Omar’s defense that she was a new congresswoman. “She is part of this class of activists that are making the transition from the streets to the inside, to the halls of power. And there’s a completely different way of behavior, of ways of doing things,” he said.

“And what we’re seeing now, in real time, and uncomfortably, is she is learning, or at least I hope she’s learning, what she’s going through, and she can still, you know, change her behavior without changing what she believes,” he said.

Ocasio-Cortez similarly tweeted on Tuesday: “I believe that Ilhan, in her statement a few weeks ago, has demonstrated a willingness to listen+work w/impacted communities.”

Omar more aggressive

However, Omar appears to have become more combative and less apologetic as time goes on.

In a tweet on Sunday, the Somali-born congresswoman, said, “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”

The tweet, which relies heavily on an anti-Semitic trope, suggesting that Israel supporters are citizens with divided loyalties, drew condemnation from both democrats and republicans.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on which Omar sits, condemned Omar for suggesting Jews who support Israel are guilty of dual loyalties, calling it a  “vile anti-Semitic slur.”

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House democrats plan to introduce a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on Wednesday, a direct outcome of Omar’s comments, although her name appears nowhere in the resolution.