Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement on comments made by Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN):
“It is deeply disappointing and disturbing to hear Representative Ilhan Omar’s (MN) choice of words in her exchange with a journalist yesterday, wherein she appears to traffic in old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money. Her words are deeply hurtful and offensive, particularly as they build on a previous comment she made about Jews “hypnotizing” the world in support of Israel – another old trope born of hate-filled texts like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
“While of course our nation’s leaders are free to debate the relative influence of a particular organization on our country’s policy-making process, or the factors that make our system of governance imperfect, there is an expectation of leaders—particularly those with a demonstrated commitment to the cause of justice and equality—that they would be extremely careful not to tread into the waters of anti-Semitism or any other form of prejudice or hate. Rep. Omar failed that test of leadership with these comments.
“And even as this is the case, one must also note and be concerned about the concerted Right-wing tactics aimed at advancing their agenda by distracting and dividing those committed to equality and social justice. These tactics have painted some unfairly and we must guard against this as well, because to unfairly accuse someone of a particular hatred undermines the legitimacy of the condemnations when they are truly warranted.
“In this fragile moment in our nation’s history, we must all redouble our efforts to engage in policy debates in ways that respect the dignity and humanity of all people.
“Finally, the strong bi-partisan support of Israel in this country is a hallmark of our nation’s commitment to the ideals of democracy and self-determination. The overwhelming majority of Members of Congress believe in a solution that provides for two states for two peoples—directly negotiated by the parties—because is it the only way to a meaningful, lasting and secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians that recognizes the needs, interests, and concerns of both peoples. Recent efforts, from both the Left and Right, to push away from such a solution only bring us further from the peace that both sides so desperately need. It is my hope to see such a solution in my lifetime, and I will continue to endeavor, working with my colleagues from all backgrounds and political ideologies, to make that peace a reality.”