Despite anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric that includes support for the BDS movement from freshmen Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), House Democratic leadership has come to their defense.
“Clearly, I condemn anti-Semitism,” said House Majority leader Steny Hoyer on Tuesday. “I don’t know that I draw the conclusion, however, that those attacking those two members are correct that they are antisemitic. I don’t accept that premise.”
Unlike Hoyer, House Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) sidestepped the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel issues revolving around the congresswomen at issue: “I’ve found those two new freshmen members to be thoughtful colleagues on a wide variety of issues.”
The Daily Caller reported on Tuesday that Tlaib belongs to a Facebook group called “Palestinian-American Congress” that consists of anti-Semitic videos and other posts. Maher Abdel-qader, a crucial fundraiser for Tlaib’s congressional bid, posted a video last year questioning historical facts related to the Holocaust in addition to Jewish ties to Israel. The video calls Jews “satanic.”
“Research the truth about the Holocaust, and you’ll definitely start to question what you thought you knew,” says the video’s narrator.
On her first day in office, Tlaib displayed a map with a note posted over Israel that reads “Palestine.” Four days later, she attacked Republican lawmakers and opponents of the anti-Israel BDS movement by saying “they forgot what country they represent.”
Additionally, Tlaib met with Hezbollah supporter Abbas Hamideh who has said that Israel is a “terrorist entity,” even though the congresswoman said that “I do not agree with the statements brought to my attention.”
Meanwhile, Omar, who was recently appointed to the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee, has tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world” and that the Jewish state practices “apartheid.”