In a party-line vote last week, the House of Representatives decided to remove the Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar from the Committee on Foreign Affairs. According to the Associated Press and PBS News, congressional Republicans acted because of Omar’s “comments critical of Israel.” David Harsanyi sees things differently:
Numerous politicians are “critical of Israel.” Omar doesn’t believe the Jewish people deserve a state, no matter what policies Israel engages in short of going out of business. She is critical of the existence of this one nation. . . . But that’s not the central problem, either. Omar, when already a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, compared the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. . . . And when Omar says House members are expected to pay “allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country” or that supporters of Israel are in it for “Benjamins,” she is not “being critical” of any policy, she is spreading ugly “tropes.”
The press then uncritically repeats Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’s claim that Democrats “unequivocally condemned” Omar four years ago, without any pushback. But either Jeffries is lying or doesn’t understand that unequivocal means “with no doubt” and “unambiguous.” The House passed a watered-down resolution mentioning Alfred Dreyfus, Leo Frank, Henry Ford, and “anti-Muslim bigotry”—and a bunch of other bad -isms—that never even mentions Omar.