A group representing more than 2,000 Orthodox rabbis in the United States is urging House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
On Monday, the Coalition for Jewish Values said it sent a letter to McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., characterizing Omar's requested removal as a matter of "moral conscience" and "a necessary step to quell the rising tide of antisemitic speech and violence now impacting Jewish communities across America."
A copy of the letter was published in a report on the Daily Mail's website.
McCarthy has previously vowed to remove Omar from the committee over antisemitic remarks and other controversial comments about Israel.
However, Omar's removal would require a full vote from the House, and Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C. and Ken Buck, R-Colo., have already said they will oppose McCarthy's effort against Omar.
The congresswoman has been involved in a litany of antisemitic controversies:
In 2012, she suggested Israel had "hypnotized the world" and said, "may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel."
In 2019, Omar reasoned that Israel's allies in U.S. politics were only motivated by money and not principle. In her now-deleted tweet, Omar wrote: "It’s all about the Benjamins baby." She also appeared at a town hall event in Washington at the time and suggested that Israel demands "allegiance" from U.S. lawmakers.
In 2021, the Minnesota Democrat reportedly compared the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Omar said she was not aware that "hypnotized" was an antisemitic trope, and didn't know "that there are tropes about Jews and money"
Omar also said people who believe she has something against the Jewish community are
The letter sent to the House, signed by CJV President Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld and Managing Director Rabbi Yaakov Menken, said Orthodox rabbis have a significant understanding about antisemitism because Orthodox Jews are targeted far more frequently than any other minority in hate crimes, including non-Orthodox Jews.
The group stated there was a clear connection between "Omar's odious speech" and the fact that Grafton Thomas, who is accused of murdering a Holocaust survivor with a machete in upstate New York in December 2019, first searched for "Zionist Temples" before attacking a Hanukkah celebration at a non-Zionist congregation.
"This link is unmistakable, and it's clear that the failure of Congress to disassociate itself from Rep. Omar's bigotry helped create the environment of hate now evident in New York and across the country," the rabbis wrote.
The letter concluded by stating the removal of Omar from the committee "is the only morally responsible choice for a member of Congress who opposes racism, bigotry and antisemitism."
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