Ilhan Omar Controversy Caps a Month of Stumbles for Democratic Leaders

House Democrats, rusty after years in the minority, have stomped on their own messages, have fallen prey to Republican maneuvers and are in battling over punishing Ms. Omar for an anti-Israel remark.

Comments: 195

  1. I'm reminded of an old joke. "I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat." The party has long been characterized by broader ideological diversity than the GOP, and it has never developed effective methods for dealing with that.

  2. All of these concerns are really "inside baseball" for most Americans -- meaning they are granular details most only the political class or the bloviating class care about. Democrats need to just keep their eyes on the prize, which is using their power to reveal the depth of corruption in the Trump Administration.

  3. It's true. Democrats' rush of proposals has the feeling of throwing wet toilet paper against a wall with the hopes that something will stick. It's a big mess.

  4. Read Paul Waldman’s response in the Washington Post to this dishonest smearing of Omar. Clearest refutation I’ve seen.

  5. The newly elected Progressives are the Democrats version of the freedom caucus. John Boehner is smiling right now.

  6. Those attacking Rep. Omar's comments as anti-semitic never wanted her in Congress, much less on the Foreign Relations Committee. Many are racists. Many hate Muslims and Islam. They use slurs of anti-Semitism as cover for their hate. So long as Pelosi et al. side with Trump and Republican haters the worse the matter will get. These attacks against Rep. Omar will never end, so the only rational response is to recognize them for what they are. Gaslighting.

  7. @ScottW Exactly. I think Rep. Engel is not fit to be chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee because of his obvious bias as a pro-Israeli American. How fair is that?

  8. She's going to single-handedly hand this election over to Trump, so, personally, I want her to stay exactly where she is and keep up the rhetoric....

  9. @ScottW Your statement that all of the pushback against Omar is racist is demonstrably untrue. It is reasonable to believe that there is a faction on the left that wants to destroy Israel. If you're interested, read Thomas Friedman's excellent column from yesterday's edition. As a lifelong progressive, watching the left turn into Trump Lite, I'm rethinking my own allegiances.

  10. Very pleased with the perspective of the bright and young democratic representatives. While the discord with regards to Israeli influence on our politics is viewed as a negative, I believe it is healthy. Debate on the issue has been stifled for far too long.

  11. Yes, Mark, things are EVOLVING. OUR Congress and media people must get used to the fact that the usual money didn't "buy" the new Socially Conscious Women and men who were and are being hired/elected by WE THE PEOPLE. There were not "missteps". There was the changing of minds and hearts to broaden the normal male-model discussions and actions that usually take place. THAT IS PROGRESS! Thanks to the Socially Conscious lawmakers who are helping US restore/preserve true democracy in OUR United States of America.

  12. How about boiler-plate anti-anti condemnation language for use in any future resolutions. Fill in the blank with the name of the latest offended party in a resolution that also criticizes all other bigotry, bad-mouthing and unfairness toward any individual or group. That way they can blah-blah without anyone feeling left out.

  13. Maybe the best management of what people say would be no management at all. Maybe a little less hysteria about the things people say and increased attention to what governments everywhere do or don't do, tax systems, health care, the cost and quality of education, would go a long way towards solving lots of problems.

  14. By all indications, the Dems are once again losing sight of the big picture. I would hope the overall strategy is to not only focus on removing Trump ( via the 2020 election: removing him via impeachment gives us the scary prospect of Pence as president to finish out this term and perhaps get re-elected). The overall strategy must include getting new members of the House and Senate elected in 2020 That will be very tough as it is anyway, with gerrymandered districts favoring the Republicans. The statements of Ilham, Talib and AOC will be campaign fodder for the Republican party to get "Trumpicans" re-elected. And as it appears right now, any Dem presidential nominee must work with the aforementioned new members of the House and at the same time, win back independent voters who are looking for an alternative to Trump. I wish that nominee luck. They will need it.

  15. As Will Rogers once famously said: " I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a Democrat!" That still holds true -- the democratic party is a party of cats - and no one can herd cats. Unfortunately -- although Nancy Pelosi does far better than anyone else who has come down the pike attempting to do so.

  16. Absolutely right, we need a party that blindly follows their leaders regardless of what is proposed, oh wait, we have that, they are called Republicans.

  17. This is something the democrats do not need if they want to win in 2020. Fix it now or pay the penalty of 4 more years of Trumpism.

  18. Following all statements most should agree this bill is hypocritical because most of us have said the same thing Ms Omar did.

  19. @William How do you know? I take that as a personal affront. You can only speak for yourself. If you have said the same thing as Rep. Ilhan Omer, then shame on you

  20. Democrats are divided between the basket of extreme left like Omar, AOC and centrists Clintonistas/Pelosiates. Bernie who tries to consider himself independent jumps in as a Democrat during presidential election season. Until there is a clarity as to who is the leader/front runner of the democratic party and a likely nominee of the party there are going to be confusing signals as to who and what precisely the democratic party stands for. This may mean a split in the party on ever issue. Either the party is going to fight antisemitism of going to condone antisemitism. If it is as a party with majority of its members going to condone antisemitism, Americans should be able to boycott all of the party and vote in opposition to the democratic party. The democratic party in congress is already steering clear of the main stream of American politics by opposing measures that a majority consider good for the country. All I can say to the democratic party is if you live by the identity racial politics you will die by it. It is a time for reckoning and judgement of the democratic party as a whole.

  21. @Girish Kotwal I disagree with your premise that the different viewpoints of Dem elected reps is a bad thing. I DO agree that we need to be behind a strong, charismatic candidate. However, Dems can walk and chew gum at the same time, and I dispute any idea of either having a single issue platform, or one that is either for (?) or against anti-semitism. If we go down that road, we become the crippled government that the GOP has crafted. And as I said in another comment, and others have put forth....being against Israel as a nation for what it is doing policy-wise is the same as if all of our allies despised Americans for what Trump's administration does and says. Too much is being made of the statements which were not intended as anti-Semitism. The Dems as a whole, and many here, have fallen into the political trap that Trump set. Remember his misogyinism and the subsequent loud outrage when there was a Dem who through a stupid teen-age level prank photo was ousted as a "sex-offender"? What we can't do is be sucked into and sidelined by either the GOP or the media headlines that, let's remember, are dependent on the "if it bleeds, it leads" headlines. I don't want to live in the land of crazy any more.

  22. What it happening now with Ilhan is very similar to the campaign in Britain that accuses Corbyn and Labour of antisemitism. This won't go away. Several developments are colliding here. On the one hand it is a generational thing. People who consciously remember World War II are a small minority now. For younger generations it is just history - hardly more interesting than Napolean. They don't understand why they can't say the same things they say about Russia and other countries about Israel. They don't understand why supporters of for example Russia are fair game for almost any accusation while supporters of Israel are almost sacrosanct. "Dog whistle" accusations sound hollow to them as they grew up when such "whistles" were seldom heard. For many of them these are not tropes - these are just conclusions they drew themselves. Another factor is immigration. Many Muslims have been raised with a quite different view on the Middle East. Almost all Asians and Africans look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the burden of the Holocaust. And finally there is Israel that has been very capable in mobilizing local Jewish minorities to further any policy they want - often using accusations of antisemitism as a weapon. It was no coincidence that Trump's antisemitic remarks never became an issue: Netanyahu knew that he could trust Kushner to get him the things he wanted.

  23. I watched an Instagram clip recently of Ilhan Omar questioning Elliot Abrams, Trumps newly appointed Special Representative for Venezuela. Shockingly, she refused to call him by his correct name, instead addressing him as Mr. Adams. Upon hearing that, I could not listen to anything further Rep. Omar had to say. My conclusion was either she was ignorant of his actual name or Anti-Semitic, intentionally choosing to not state his Jewish surname correctly. I am going to pick the latter, which has no place in the US House, nor does ignorance. .

  24. @Susan Schwartz then how do you explain Trump calling the CEO of Apple "Tim Apple" yesterday. that he's anti-LGBTQ? oh, wait! he has misnamed quite a number of people to their face and in reference.

  25. @Susan Schwartz Holy cow, I can't believe this. How many times do people mispronounce my Italian last name? And those people, often, do consider me "foreign" because of my name. Where I live this is pretty common (rural Illinois).

  26. The rabid reaction to Ms Omar merely pointing out the fact of Israel’s special status among our lawmakers and AIPAC’s powerful influence is actually underscoring her point. The current anti-BDS legislation is an example of her views. No other country enjoys America’s unquestioning support as does Israel - except for maybe Saudi Arabia

  27. @Eduardo And there are no strategical reasons you can think of this for this?

  28. This episode perfectly illustrates the phoniness of labeling Ilhan Omar’s views about Israel and its lobby as “anti-semitic”. That term means “hates or discriminates against Jews”. Is Omar being targeted by Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Jerrold Nadler because she hates or discriminates against Jews? Obviously not, because when Donald Trump said to a Jewish audience: “You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your politicians, that’s fine.” — those people were silent, despite the invocation of the “anti-semitic trope” about Jews and money. And the reason Trump wasn’t run out of town after making such remarks is that he eventually convinced major Jewish donors to the Republican Party that he will do whatever they want regarding Israel. Move the embassy to Jerusalem, cut aid to Palestinians, renege on Obama’s Iran deal — and he has done it all. So genuine anti-semitism doesn’t matter, as long as the person supports Israel. But heaven help us if there is vocal opposition to or even just insufficient support for Israel on the part of a Democratic congresswoman. She needs to be silenced. We can’t have Israel’s pre-eminent place in American politics threatened in any way. And what better way to silence her than pretending she hates Jews? But we are seeing now that the pretense, that old “trick”, just doesn’t work any more. Pelosi had to back down. The cognitive dissonance must be excruciating.

  29. A complex issue for sure. For many years the US has provided huge foreign aid and and advanced weapons to Israel. At the same time Israel has run roughshod over the disputed West Bank moving settlers into the area in an open effort to lay claim. In one factual story, of many, Israel bulldozed a home, with an old woman inside the dwelling. Killing her. In another story, of many, also in the NY Times, Israel has used assassins as part of their foreign policy, and, without much a peep of complaint from the US even when video evidence surfaces. Openly discussing and debating whether the US should be handing over weapons to a country that abuses the rights of others is not antisemitic. It is a proper, intelligent discussion and debate. Omar is too young to know how to go about that debate, but, she does understand the debate needs to happen. She is brave enough to try to get it going even though it can be dangerous for her and her family.

  30. @Michael Well said.

  31. @Michael Omar is 38. She's not a child and infantilizing her is incredibly disrespectful and insulting. It also doesn't help at all.

  32. Why has this turned into an issue of such proportions? Shouldn't the Democrats stay focused on the bigger picture? This is out of control , highly divisive and completely pointless. I, and so many others, are sick of hearing about it.

  33. @dog lover A kid in a MAGA hat stood silently with a slight smirk on his face and the media went wild. So when a sitting Congressperson utters anti-semitic remarks for the second time expect to hear about it for a while. Especially when the dems don't seem to want to do anything about it.

  34. I do not believe that the Democrats "allowed" the Republicans to hijack the truth and the media have been disgraceful all week in undermining the point of the House's demands for documents and interviews meant to finally get the facts and share them with the American people. All I have heard over and over again by the media across the board are statements about "overreach" and "premature "impeachment" when we have been waiting and waiting for the truth to come out through factual, legitimate investigations. The investigations are not "political" they are the exercise of the constitutional duty of oversight and balance of power by our elected representatives. Representative Omar has a lot to learn about restraint and how to carry out positive dialogue but shame on the Times and the media for undermining legitimate efforts on behalf of all of us.

  35. @fg Sigh, what happened to logic? You 'have been waiting and waiting for the truth to come out' for two years? And what is that truth? A fairly elected President was denied a chance to lead by the party who lost with tactics not seen since McCarthy? That's the only truth that has emerged so far so what truth are you waiting for?

  36. @GregP Considering that the republicans in the House, Devin Nunes in particular, refused to issue subpoenas and stonewalled every attempt to get the facts about Russian interference in this "fair" election, I guess you missed something here.

  37. Democrats, and the best interests of the USA that they carry, will continue in 2020 as a minority in the Senate, and will lose to Trump due to the insistence on being right over the need to win. We all fault the Republicans for solidly lining up behind Trump, but how else can they act in a two-party system?

  38. 'Ilhan Omar Controversy Caps a Month of Stumbles for Democratic Leaders' There is a raging war going on between parties. This GOP and djt will continue to keep a close watch only anything to use as a distractor "keeping the fractious House Democratic caucus (from) message," and Ms. Omar should be acutely aware of this. She is but one example that confirms my belief that many human beings are ill-equipped for the creation of the hyper-connected life the advancement of technology delivered. Opinions expressed through a device, a machine has no human face and is wide open to any interpretation.

  39. It's not "a" comment, it's a series of statements that makes clear what Omar believes. And the Dems have decided they support that message, as the insectional lottery she won matters more than who she actually is as a person. Your color, religion, and sex matter more than what you actually believe to Democrats. Not where I really want to go, but good to know. Between Northam, Fairfax, Omar, and whatever the VA AG's name, we know that the Dems value power over principle. Not a surprise, but good to remember when the hectoring starts over X, Y, or Z.

  40. You don't have to be an anti-Semite to criticize Israeli's political leadership or policies. In fact, Israel, with its 34 political parties, does a great job of self-criticizing while building multi-party coalition governments after each democratic Parliamentary election. But...I believe Representative Omar IS an unabashed anti-Semite. Her published Tweeted tropes aren't veiled with ambivalence, and her apologies reveal no heartfelt remorse for the hurt she's caused to Jewish Americans, including those residing within her Minnesota voting district. Rep. Omar specifically targeted a single country's lobbying efforts with the United States government, Israel. In her initial Tweet rant, she conveniently ignored mentioning any other nation that appeals for economic, military, or political favors, including the 10 largest foreign lobbyists, who are also attempting to BUY influence in Washington: United Arab Emirates (1), Germany, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Morocco, South Korea, Bosnian Serb Republic, Georgia, and Azerbaijan (10). Other commenters don't refrain from calling Trump an anti-Semite, though he obviously loves and trusts his daughter, Ivanka, his son-in-law, Jared, and their 3 children, who are of the Jewish faith. Many of Trump's closest confidants, and new enemies, like Michael Cohen, are Jews. Trump's faults are countless, but being an anti-Semite isn't among them.

  41. This storm in a teacup over a remark by Ms. Omar reminds me of the genuine debacle regarding England's continuing occupation of six counties of Ireland. Now, there's something to get wound up about.

  42. "Rep Omar has made almost the exact same critiques of the effect of the Saudi lobby and Saudi money on US policy towards that Islamic kingdom. She has called Trump “bought” by Saudi Arabia and accused lawmakers of putting Saudi interests ahead of those of the US." Are these "tropes" as well? Establishment (older) Democrats must wake up to the changes that have occurred in Israel thanks to Netanyahu and to the influence of AIPAC on American politics. These more recent changes as well as the lack of resolution on the Palestinians status has made more and more Americans - including Jews - siding with Omar and the younger Democrats. Are "anti-semitic tropes" truly "hurtful" to Jews? What does "hurtful" really mean? How does "hurtful" impact Jewish lives? Civil rights? Voting rights? Housing? I just don't get it. You know what is hurtful? Living as a Palestinian in the West Bank.

  43. How is it even controversial that Jewish Americans feel a strong bond with the Israeli people, want America to continue its close relationship with them, and exercise their political rights to help make that happen? Italian Americans feel the same way about Italy. Lithuanian Americans feel the same way about Lithuania. African Americans loved Black Panther. Asian Americans loved Crazy rich Asians. What could be more natural than any of that? I imagine Rep. Omar even feels a strong bond with Somalia, though her family couldn't stand living there, and she would have none of the rights there that she has here. I'm not Jewish, or Italian, or Lithuanian, or Somali, but I absolutely support the right of all those who are to stand up for countries that are home to their (very) extended families.

  44. The Democrats in the House are handing Trump issues and presenting a picture of uncontrolled incompetence. What is it, 3 weeks since peloi crushed Trump on the budget? In there weeks Party Discippline in the use has deconstructed. Democratic Party discipline, anyway. In the last few days some prominent guys have opted not to run for the DEm nomination. There might be lots of reasons but surely one of them is the growing possibility that Trump will win= helped immeasurably by the Democrats in the House. In the Immortal Words of Napoleon- never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

  45. @Lefthalfbach "What is it, 3 weeks since peloi crushed Trump on the budget? " In light of what's going on at the border, that may even look like an own goal in retrospect. Remember that Pelosi got the votes that she wanted back in '08-'10. And lost the House (and your blue dogs) for the next 4 elections in a row.

  46. @rtj You are not wrong on the own goal risk re the Border. If 75,000 Guatemalans show up in March as they did in February, then Immigration vaults to the Top of the Issues list with Trump holding the much better hand. I mean, according to the report, people are now riding buses from the Southern Mexican border to our border with Mexico. I mean, that is just not going to be acceptable to a wider range of people than classic Trump voters.

  47. Speaker Pelosi faces a disloyalty problem from Lowey, Engel, and Nadler who seem to have forgotten that Bibi Netanyahu is a Right-wing Republican running for re-election, facing multiple indictments, and allying himself with outright anti-Palestinian racists. Anti-Semitism is inexcusable, but it grows with authoritarianism. Democratic leaders need to be clear that criticizing that authoritarianism-- the brutal military occupation of Palestine-- is not anti-Semitic, but is in fact in Israel's best interest. For generally wise senior Democrats to join a wolf-pack after two Muslim members of their own party does not seem smart politics. Much of the younger generation is looking for a renewed commitment to universal human rights and will judge both major parties accordingly.

  48. I can remember when John Kennedy came under question in his presidential campaign for fears he'd be more loyal to the pope than to the US Constitution. I think Rep. Omar could do a better job in getting across her point-of-view by recognizing the long and sordid history of this tactic in political rhetoric.

  49. If Ms Omars statements are misguided as I think they are then criticize her positions with out making attributions regarding her motivations. Has she ever been accused of anti semitism in her behaviors as Trump has with racist realty policies. Theirs legitimate reasons to be critical of Israeli policies as their are with any nations that were allied with. This emphasis on identity politics will doom democrats in 2020.

  50. Let's say one, single, gigantic stumble. Democrats, after a giddy good beginning with Chuck and Nancy are scared. Scared of their own shadows. Scared of their sorry recent history. Scared of things they don't understand, Iike young voters. I suspect mostly they're scared because suddenly they have not just a chance but the expectation of ridding the country of Trump and making a start at ripping apart rotten Republican infrastructure. So we get 'establishment Democrats' (old or old at heart) chastising the newbies for bad behavior and bad manners. Expected, I suppose, in so hide-bound a group. What we also get is desperate over-reach, like this sad attempt at speech control and thought control. From Nancy, no less. Proto-Dems misread their membership. They misread their voters. They misread history. At exactly the wrong nanosecond Democrats come up with this mind-control pledge of undying love for Israel in an increasingly, and increasingly justifiably, dubious world. Israel used to get a pass, and they blew it. Israel, which made a carnival of coming over here and hiring the biggest hall in town to publicly abuse our President and our policy. it is going to heighten resistance to our idiotic "Israel now and always" policy. Its time we start to think about what we're doing. We can support Israel all we like, but we have to be intentional about it. Evangelicals can find their own way to the Apocalypse.

  51. @oogada "...'establishment Democrats' (old or old at heart)..." Old politics too. Their usual MO of collecting the money from all of the usual corporate suspects and doing the bidding of their donors is coming back to bite them in the tail. As it should. As for Israel, well, we could buy a lot of healthcare for what we fork out to their military.

  52. This is the part where the Democrats fall all over each other and splinter, anyone who has watched politics for the last 20 years in this country saw this coming a mile away. Trump doesn't need to do anything, all he has to do is let the Democrats do what they always do and usher in his second term

  53. I share her concern over lobbying and the need to keep in mind that US and Israeli don't always converge. I wish she had found a better way to express it.

  54. OMG - this is how Trump wins in 2020. If that nightmare happens, Canada will need a wall on its southern border.

  55. The President lawyer testifies to Congress that the President is a criminal and a racist, and produces physical evidence of the President’s lawbreaking in connection with paying hush money to a porn actress to keep it quiet right before the election. The President’s former campaign manager is about to be sentenced for decades for just some of the crimes he’s been convicted of, relating to conspiracy with Russian interests. Top Republican leaders intersperse their unwavering support for this President with racist statements. NYT headline: DEMS IN DISARRAY

  56. Why have you shifted to now call a clearly anti-Semitic comment "anti-Israel". Why be complicit in whitewashing anti-Semitism?

  57. This will not go away. We will not let it. I intend to bring it up this betrayal of the Jewish community at every opportunity. We will not be silenced.

  58. Comments about the sickness of Israel and it's dark control of the US and enslavement of the Palestinians have nothing to do with anti-Semitism. This is about the evil nations do not about the character of one religion or another.

  59. Rep. Ilhan Omar's comment was "pro-Israel lobby AIPAC was buying off American politicians". You mean the tobacco industry giving money to politicians wasn't trying to buy politicians? Of course pro-Isreal groups are giving money to politicians to influence US policy towards Isreal. This whole storm is just an attempt to distract from the truth.

  60. thank you NYT, supposed to be reliably relatively liberal, attacked the Democrats again.

  61. An anti Israel comment from Rep Omar is free speech, pure and simple. Its condemnation by Congress is theatre, as proven in the timing with the AIPAC conference and Israel’s outside influence in our politics. Congress should focus instead on a resolution criminalizing Holocaust denial, a crime in 17 countries around the world, but otherwise considered a 1st Amendment right in the U.S.

  62. The Governor of Virginia goes on the radio and says he believes it is OK to abort a child after he or she is born. Then a racist photo of him appears, then a me too situation with the second in command, and then another racist statement from the same cabinet. Then we have the new freshmen Democrats saying crazy things like eliminating air travel in 10 years and making anti-sematic remarks, as well as chasing Amazon and 25,000 high paying jobs from NYC . In addition to all of this many Democrats are supporting Socialism while thousands are starving and fleeing Socialism in Venezuela. What a mess!

  63. So Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, Democrat of New Jersey, defended Ms. Omar and said of the resolution (condemning Anti-Semitism), “I don’t think this is a good strategy.” When will liberals, and especially Jewish liberals, wake up to what has become of their Democratic Party? It's certainly NOT the party of their parents or grandparents.

  64. Democrats hate White people, Jews, Russians, independent thought. The party of hate. The strategy of calling others vile names is failing due to exposure of their own hypocrisy, and hate.

  65. Get over yourselves, Dems! Talk about a tempest in a teapot. And BTW, being anti-Israel is not the same as anti-Semitic.

  66. Perhaps the Dems gun control platform should include a motion to not shoot themselves in the foot.

  67. It’s not lost on me that the Republicans are using women of color as a wedge issue to appeal to white racist voters...don’t think Democrats should fall for that trap. The country will soon be majority minority and witnessing the sea change in Congress has been nothing short of magnificent. The New Democrats are doing great. Here’s a thought...diversify your newsroom so you can speak to the concerns of all your subscribers not just the imaginary “moderate” ones. Get more writers of color and different faiths covering politics because I never see people of color who cover the White House or Congress for The NY Times talking about their breaking story on CNN or MSNBC, why is that? Maybe the diversity will help you understand the seismic shift in American politics better.

  68. @Madison I'm not sure anti-Semitism is a desirable sort of diversity for Democrats, though it seems that some people in the Democrat party do support it. And there HAS been a "seismic shift in American politics," as you put it -- that's how we ended up with Trump, who, despite his many failings, was chosen over Hillary. Hillary's policies were not acceptable and the current crop of Democrats mostly have even worse policies (though some of them are less corrupt) than the Clintons.

  69. Omar made a jivey and undiplomatic reference to money -- the proverbial mothers' milk of politics, but because of longstanding derogatory associations between Jews and money, her comments raised hackles across the board. Too bad that a culturally-based hypersensitivity caused so many to skip over the facts. According to Open Secrets, AIPAC -- despite its acronym -- is not a PAC and contributed nothing directly to political candidates. JStreet another pro-Israel group, however, did contribute to the the 2018 campaign -- but predominantly to Democrats, which could have been the motivation for the Dem's recent resolution. AIPAC, though, has not eschewed money altogether, spending more than $3.5 million in 2018 in its efforts to lobby Washington, and it has been staunchly opposed to the Iran Nuclear deal. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/02/aipac-dont-contribute-which-pro-israel-groups-do/ So Omar was both wrong and right when alluding to links between AIPAC and money. But once again money and politics are -- shockingly -- wedded together. This should not be news or an embarrassment to anyone. However, cultural/historical factors and group identities made more of it than necessary, and might have made matters worse. Ironically, if Ha'artez is any indication, there's a much more free-spirited debate about Israeli politics in Israel than in the US.

  70. There is nothing to apologize or punish Omar for. Dems should stop aiding and abetting the Israeli lobby's thought police. Disagreeing with Israel is not anti-Semitiic and shouldn't be characterized as such.

  71. Why does the Times insist upon identifying the members of Congress who support an anti-Semitism resolution as Jewish? It thus implies that the only reason for their support, and by the way paying lip service to Rep. Omar's comments about Jews, is that their support is only because they're Jewish. No one else in this article is identified by their religion, including Rep. Omar.

  72. Ilhan Omar is NOT a Democratic leader. She is much publicized because of her gender, ethnicity, and wardrobe. To say nothing of her careless vocabulary (too colored by truth for some people's liking). This headline and article are just one more way journalists make a mountain out of an ill-advised molehill.

  73. The activist wing of the Democratic Party is rapidly morphing into Corbyn-style militants. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before you start to have folks leaving the Democratic Party over antisemitism like in Britain with the Labour Party.

  74. Dems are fortunate-the country is fortunate-to have Ms. Pelosi at the helm in working through these issues. It's not realistic to expect the firebreathers just to keep their mouths shut-I'm sure the Repub leadership would prefer that Tea Partiers keep their mouths shut. But they at least need to acknowledge that they are part of a team that has an almost sacred national mission to deliver the country from what is a historic crisis. They (and their primary voters) at least need to keep a simple truth in mind: they need a national message that will allow them to carry the key states in the heartland. At least Ms. Omar is from Minnesota, and I kind of respect her for speaking her truth from that part of the world. But the prominent Dems from California and New York (that's you Senator Harris and Senator Gilleland) who want to saddle the Dems with "aspirational" messaging like Medicare for all while coming from states where a Repub couldn't get elected dogcatcher in a state-wide race-that's selfish and wrong. Maybe Medicare for All in 2032. For now let's save the country. I have confidence that Speaker Pelosi can get this message across in the House agenda, if anybody can. The primary presidential candidates are the loose cannons.

  75. First of all, AIPAC is one of or the most powerful lobbying group in America. And it lobbies for a FOREIGN COUNTRY Fortune magazine ranked AIPAC second on its list of most powerful lobbying groups. There is more Sheldon Adelson is the biggest Republican donor and it's not even close. By his own admission, he's a one issue donor and that issue is Israel. Here are two direct Adelson quotes: "All we care about is being good Zionists, being good citizens of Israel..." “I am not Israeli. The uniform that I wore in the military, unfortunately, was not an Israeli uniform" Haim Saban is year in and year out ranked as one of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party Direct quote: "I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel" What Omar stated was fact plain and simple.

  76. Sheldon Adelson is the biggest Republican donor and it's not even close. By his own admission, he's a one issue donor and that issue is Israel. Here are two direct Adelson quotes: "All we care about is being good Zionists, being good citizens of Israel..." “I am not Israeli. The uniform that I wore in the military, unfortunately, was not an Israeli uniform" Haim Saban is year in and year out ranked as one of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party Direct quote: "I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel" If Jewish donors don't want to be called out for dual loyalty they should stop displaying dual loyalty

  77. Accusing supporters of Israel of dual loyalty is not anti-Semitism. Most of Israel’s allies in Congress and among voters are not Jewish. As seen in comments posted on related stories at the NYT and other mainstream media, Jewish people themselves cannot agree on the acceptiblity of Ms. Omar’s comments regarding Israel. Democratic leaders need to keep their fingers in the pulse of voters and stay focused on issues that matter, namely reforming our health care system and immigration laws and helping more Americans achieve economic stability.

  78. Listen, I teach at a state college and deal with these millenials all day and night - right around the age group of Reps. Omar and Cortez. Almost all of them have little respect for their elders and no knowledge of world history and the impact it does and should have on our present. Most couldn't identify the conditions leading up to the Holocaust much less the political outcome. They don't value experience, knowledge and critical and independent thinking. They genuinely belief that the attention one receives on social media validates an opinion and a leadership position and are happy to grovel in the sm mud pit. They have an air of entitlement and superiority - mostly undeserved nor earned. Ms. Cortez has all the makings of a social media star. Very pretty, extremely photogenic, loud and attention grabbing - but not particularly experienced, respectful nor deep. Ms. Omar is different in background and appearance as a young Muslim in Congress. They are certainly entitled to their opinions but what they should really be concentrating on is observing and learning from their elders, being studious and attentive and building relationships with experienced MOC's. Social media may bring attention - but it certainly doesn't make you a leader, as we can see clearly with these two young ladies. In my opinion, at this point, they're nothing more than typical bratty millenials.....not worthy of this amount of time nor attention.

  79. Pelosi must back Omar the way the GOP backs Trump. Whether she disagrees or not, being critical of Israel is legitimate and Omar is a popular House member with the Dem base. It’s all about the Benjamin Netanyahu’s, baby.

  80. From Friedman’s column yesterday: “Why? Maybe it’s because they watched how President Barack Obama put together a $40 billion, 10-year military aid package for Israel — a high-tech powerhouse that is not poor — and rather than receiving effusive thanks from Netanyahu, Obama was criticized by Bibi and his cat’s paw, the Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, as “not generous enough,’’ because it required that aid to be spent purchasing American arms, benefiting our workers, not on Israeli-made arms. Aipac went along with Netanyahu’s ungratefulness.” First, some corrections to Friedman’s quote: the MOU from FY2019 to FY2028 is $38 billion, so it’s $3.8 billion/year. However, Congress has routinely given Isreal more than agreed to in past MOU’s (past MOU was $3.1 billion/year); with new MOU, Netanyahu agreed to reimburse US for amount >$3.8 billion/year (Senators like Graham complained that Congress can’t give more!). Also, the Off-Shore Procuring that extraordinarily allows Israel to spend US tax dollars aid to develop Israel’s own military industrial complex will be phased out by FY2028; it’s 25% in FY2019 and above 20% through FY2024. So that’s $3.8 billion/year to a country that has GDP per capita higher than that of UK, France, Italy or Japan. Israel also has universal healthcare and provides subsidized housing in ever expanding Jewish only settlements in occupied West Bank. Rep. Ilhan Omar is being punished for daring to say the truth about Israel and Saudi Arabia.

  81. You don't have to be an anti-Semite to criticize Israeli's political leadership or policies. Israel, with 34 political parties, does a great job criticizing itself while building a coalition government after each democratic Parliamentary election. But...Representative Omar IS an unabashed anti-Semite. Her Tweeted tropes aren't veiled with ambivalence, and her apologizes circumvent remorse for the hurt she's caused to Jewish Americans, including those residing within her Minnesota voting district. Rep. Omar specifically targeted a single country's lobbying efforts with the United States government, Israel. In her initial Tweet rant, she conveniently ignored mentioning any other nation that appeals for economic, military, or political favors, including the 10 largest foreign lobbyists, who are also attempting to BUY influence in Washington: United Arab Emirates (1), Germany, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Morocco, South Korea, Bosnian Serb Republic, Georgia, and Azerbaijan (10).

  82. @Stone Ilhan Omar has been critical of Saudi Arabia as well.

  83. This is not anti-semitism full stop. The height and depth of the feigned offense is proportionate to the relationship AIPAC has with these representatives. These charges of hate are ridiculous and this very paper has reported on how a preponderance of state legislators and the federal government are forcing politicians with Israel allegiance laws. Maybe we should do that for all 200 countries just to be consistent?

  84. @Matthew Exactly. I really wish someone would explain to me how these criticisms of AIPAC's influence on American politicians and loyalty to Israel over America are "tropes." And two, how are they "hurtful?" If not true, ignore or deny. Let's see evidence that these criticisms are not true. Otherwise, how is "hurtful" evidenced in manners that free Americans must be censured or condemned or removed from office? I truly wish calling something "anti-semitic" wasn't such a knee jerk reaction (without explanation) and the reaction of the Democrats wasn't so political, proving that indeed, AIPAC has a hold on American politicians.

  85. @Matthew unfortunately it is fully anti-Semitic. She was playing on an anti-Semitic trope

  86. If the Democrats ever do produce a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, in order to succeed morally and politically, it must do several things: First, it must acknowledge that a refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state is intrinsically anti-Semitic. But it must also acknowledge, in equally unambiguous terms, that criticism of Israel's current policies, including its occupation of the West Bank, is not intrinsically anti-Semitic. Second, it must condemn those who apply a double standard by which Israel's human-rights violations of the Palestinians are routinely condemned while similar and far worse human-rights violations by virtually every other state that engages in them are routinely ignored. But, at the same time, it must also criticize politicians who regard Israel as sacrosanct, thereby giving cover to the Netenyahu regime to continue Israel's oppressive and expansionist policies. Finally, it must criticize the trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes within its own caucus but it must also criticize the exact same thing when committed by Republicans, including especially Trump, whom it must criticize by name. And it must also acknowledge that inadvertently stumbling into anti-Semitic language to criticize Israel, as Omar has done, pales in comparison to deliberately using those tropes to curry favor with anti-Semites for political gain, as Trump has done.

  87. @David "refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state is intrinsically anti-Semitic" Anti-Zionism not anti-Semitic.

  88. @David Israel has a right to exist but it is very problematic to say that it has a right to exist as a Jewish state. That would mean that the Palestinians should acknowledge that their dispossession at the hands of Zionism was *morally obligatory*. And that’s frankly an absurd thing to expect them to agree to, or to expect anyone with common sense to agree to. And I really must disagree that a person’s denial of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state is evidence that the person hates or discriminates against Jews.

  89. @David Democrats in the senate have Chuck Schumer, a Jew, as leader. Republicans have "Confederate Flag" McConnell In the House Republicans have so many neo Nazi loving KKK pandering members they are too multitude to list. Democrats do not need to provided bone fides about being inclusive. Actions are the real currency. Israel is not Judaism. Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitism. Period.

  90. My heart goes out to Ms. Pelosi. Herding 'cats' is never an easy thing to do. The Democrats keep shooting themselves in the foot due to the impulsiveness of many in the party, including some of the presidential candidates. The press over reports any infighting and stupid statements by them. Trump is most likely smiling from ear to ear knowing this. I already have a sinking feeling about how the Democrats will blow their chance by not uniting behind a message to retake this country back from the extreme Right in 2020.

  91. @DJK. I don't sympathize with Pelosi at all. Instead of instantly condemning Omar, she should have supported her. Her knee-jerk siding with AIPAC suggests she's in the pockets of that group.

  92. Perhaps this is where President Obama could be helpful. He managed to put the idea that there are two sides to the Israel/Palestinian issue on the table without making it such a big deal that it caused a major kerfuffle. He has the respect of many of these freshman dems no doubt. He might be helpful in “herding the cats” by demonstrating to them something about persuasive diplomacy and the long game of politics.

  93. @DJK.Yep, the NYTimes especially overreports this infighting. The Times has had, and still does, a big hand in supporting the presidency of Donald Trump.

  94. Omar was singled out by the House about her previous comments. Even when people in Minnesota have called upon Omar to tone down hurtful rhetoric and to cease her polemics, she made a lame apology! Then, just a little later, she persisted to level further fighting words. These words will continue to bring misunderstanding and produce angry reactions and lewd charicatures. If she persists, she is not representing the 5th District and should be recalled. Pelosi could remove Omar’s committee assignments. She is the Steve King of the far left!

  95. @Alizabeth There is no "far left" in US politics, and hasn't been since the '30's. By the 50's and 60's, the "left" were outside politics.

  96. @expat let's start thinking again instead of reacting and analyze what this is all about. This condemnation of a freshman congress woman is a Trumpian distraction. It's his favorite strategy and it seems to work when it's based on everyone's fears of 'the other." Omar's only fault is speaking truth to power.

  97. False equivalence. Steve King said that white supremacy isn't a dirty word (not to mention that Trump said that some Nazis are fine people), whereas Omar made the Patriotic statement that she represents the United States, not Israel. How is that possibly the same thing?

  98. Let's accept for the sake of argument that Omar is not anti-Semitic, and her rhetoric is simply clumsy. The fact remains that in terms of policy, Omar, AOC, Sanders, Harris et al are taking positions that will fundamentally undermine the right of Israel to exist, and the Democratic Party is going along with that in the name of "debate" and the fear of alienating their progressive base. Americans, Jews included, now have a clear picture of where the Democrats are heading in terms of their policies in the Middle East - undermining an elected government in Israel, but nary a concern about the anti-LGBT, anti-feminist monarchies that surround it. And that's a "democratic party."

  99. @LTJ In what possible way does any member of the Dem. party 'fundamentally undermine the right of Israel to exist'? This is hyperbolic to the absurd. Rep. Omar made a comment suggesting that AIPAC has undue influence in American politics and you've let to accuse an entire party of facilitating, what, genocide? What does 'right to exist' even mean? If I say Israel has a right to exist, am I agreeing that a full-scale invasion by, Who? Iran?, is illegitimate and should be prevented? Or am I am signalling my approval of a state which seeks to constitutionally guarantee the social-political supremacy of one ethnic group over another while slowly expanding its borders by bulldozing its neighbour's schools and homes? No one outside of fringe elements of Hamas and Iran are actively advocating the annihilation of Israel, which has a nuclear deterrent. So why are we all frenzied about this idea of a right to exist? It does exist and no one poses a credible threat to that existence by tweeting about lobby groups. You do Israel's neighbours a disservice. Lebanon in particular has an active LGBTQ movement, which has faced a lot of opposition but is also reason for hope for LGBTQ rights. I think it is disingenuous to suggest that people - and the Dems in particular - have not voiced concern about 'neighbouring monarchies'' activities. It is Jared Kushner's friend MBS, after all, who has garnered criticism from the left for his predilection for butchering US residents.

  100. @LTJ It will fundamentally undermine the right of Israel to expropriate land from the West Bank and take it for themselves. The right of Israel to exist is a given fact. Everyone knows that Israel will remain and it should. The right of Israel to colonize is up for debate.

  101. @LTJ What policies have these candidates adopted that threaten the right of Israel to exist? It seems like Harris, Sanders, and AOC have all been very supportive of Israel.

  102. As a Democrat, I keep waiting for our team to coalesce and get it right but I’m beginning to see us as the “Keystone Cops” rather than leaders capable of effectively executing a long awaited agenda to help the vast majority of underserved Americans. Israel is not America and pandering to their lobby and/or all of the lobbies that have more influence over our government than American voters have, is discouraging. Believe me, Omar is not the only voice objecting to these Uber-influencers. Democrats, stay focused on what’s important and leaver Ilan Omar alone. You would do better to help her mature in her role than admonish her. Our party has many voices and constituencies to represent. Get busy and stop focusing on Israel.

  103. @Christine Davi American voters gave Democrats the keys to the car, only to discover once again that they don't know how to drive.

  104. @Christine Davi The messaging should be easy - all the Progressives have it right every single time. Why is that? It's because the Democrats are working for the corporations and the status quo exactly like and along side the Republicans. They are finding it difficult now that the People are finally waking up to what they are, to "message" out of one side of their mouths while keeping the donations (corporate bribes) flowing. Pelosi's biggest fear is that those corporations might start sending their Democratic bribes to the Republicans. Progressives don't have that problem - they just do and say the right thing and their so-called "messaging" is consistent every single time.

  105. @Christine Davi Dems are not focusing on Israel, though the GOP would like you to believe that. They are not focusing on any one thing, nor should they be with so much to fix or tweak. They really do need to do it alol, but maybe coordinate things a bit more.

  106. So disappointed that Pelosi and the rest of the leadership have not been able to keep the freshman reps in line. Omar is not the only embarrassment, and this after just a couple months. They should wait to speak in public until they’ve learned how Congress works. Now they’ve given the Republicans much ammunition with which to beat the Dems up.

  107. @ReginaInCivitatem good. its about time that the blue dog leadership is made irrelevant.

  108. This is an opinion piece—an analysis—looking like a news article. More like an op-ed, the purpose of which is to excite controversy. It comes across as manipulative rather than factual, attempting to shape events rather than report on them. Not that pieces like this should not appear, but they should be labeled as such.

  109. Where's Trump's and republican's criticism and disgust of Steve King? Democrats should not take the bait. Ignore them.

  110. @scott k. Then how to they then get to say "we're better than Trump and company". "We're no worse than Trump" is not a winning message to the electorate.

  111. From an Esssay by distinguised Professor Mearsheimer and JFKennedy School of Government. It supports Ms Omar's criticism: "the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical. Washington also provides Israel with consistent diplomatic support. Since 1982, the US has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members."

  112. @Joan Salemi By all means let's debate these issues on their merits, but without using slurs like the hateful "dual loyalty" trope.

  113. And once again the Democrats begin to "eat their own". If this cannot be stopped after a loss of a few "toes", the corpus of the Democratic Party will not have enough substance to defeat the Orange Scourge in 2020... Wash, rinse, repeat....God help us......

  114. If anything, this "controversy" shows only that Omar is right. If her comments had been directed at the NRA, there would have been only agreement.Who seriously disputes that money influences congress, and the the basis of the NRA's political support is the money they give to congress? But say this about AIPAC and its racist, it brings up the holocaust, its defamatory . All of a sudden, Omar has no right to speak or to even to have a seat on her committee. The whole thing is an embarrassing sham.

  115. If the Democrats seem disorganized, the problem can be boiled down to two reasons: 1) Senior Dems have no platform apart of a hatred for President Trump. They are trying anything and everything to bring him down. Such single minded hatred wears upon the entire country, including the Democratic party. 2) Freshmen Democrats have not been controlled and council ed by the seniors in the House due to reason 1). The freshmen(and women) have not been around the block enough to know how to craft anything but pie-in-the-sky ideas and blunders in their words. Not being a Democrat, I cannot say I am upset about their plight. Management of this country is a bigger issue than a vendetta against one man and that one man is doing a better job than any Democrat who has spoken up and shown their true colors.

  116. You’re right. Mueller is doing a great job!

  117. @Bill I hope the 70% that voted against Trump realize that he is their best friend, & the Democrats are now kneeling to the Black Caucus & Anti Semitism. This is not the Party of our fathers.

  118. @Bill Apparently, you skipped over the anti-Semitic quotes from Mr. Trump in this article, not to mention his mountain of documented lies. The Democrats are doing their job as public servants, while Republicans continue to bow down to a treasonous liar.

  119. The Dems leadership chose to make a meal out of Omar to set an example for the Jr reps to stay in line or else. Pelosi and many others don't have to worry about reelection. With a solid majority they can afford to sacrafice a few rebels in the House so they can get back to the business of keeping that status quo alive and well. Failing to realize there is a significant lack of patience with and resentment of political correctness simmering on the left. No one is saying we should not admonish public figures when they are wrong and offensive. But a resolution? Even nasty and offensive words are protected by free speech. Let the people of Minnesota decide at the polls if they want her to continue representing them after she has had the opportunity to serve her term without spending the entire time labeled antisemitic. Omar has been critical of Saudia Arabia and their undue influence in US-Mid East relations and policy. Hardly a peep about that because it would muddy the narrative that she is antisemitic. It's unfortunate that her choice of words offended Jews. But can we afford to spend so much time worrying about hurt feelings and so little on substance?

  120. Do we really want the Democrats in Congress to act in lock step like the Republicans? I sure don't. And yes, there does appear to be incendiary blowback against clumsy comments by a new Congresswoman (who is Islamic) and who has touched a raw nerve with comments about unflagging American support for Israel. Identify politics cut all ways. Congresswoman Omar's comments were provocative but they hardly rise to the level of outright racist comments of Steve King or virtually daily offensive comments and outright lies by the President. Politics can be vicious as several of the new Representatives are finding out. I trust they will adapt but hope they do not loose their impressive willingness to speak truth to power.

  121. Like the CBS Show Survior, the Dems are often Outwitted, outplayed and outlasted. The Partys are like two distinctive families. T he Democrats are like a big unruly family with many kids. All are vying for their parents attention, often at the detriment of their siblings and the family at large. The Republics are more like a military family with strict discipline and a united voice. are great at gathering the troops on a specific issue and running with it, and then thats it. You can argue the pros and cons of each, but their is no denying, The Republicans are masters of the long game, Its the only way to explain how the Democrats with far far superior numbers are rarely in charge and are mostly on the losing end of elections.

  122. Ilhan Omar is a freshman member of the House of Representatives; she is not the national face of the Democratic Party. Neither major party nor any of us should conflate criticism of Israel or AIPAC with anti-semitism. Representative Omar might have been artless with her remark but if artlessness is a capital offense we might as well permanently clear out the halls of Congress. By the same standard of civil political discourse, President Trump would have been impeached not a day later than January 21, 2017.

  123. @John LeBaron Agreed. AIPAC is a PAC that collects money and funnels it to conservative candidates, like the NRA or any other right wing PAC. Just because they're Jewish doesn't mean speaking out against right-wing PACs requiring allegiance to another COUNTRY is wrong. That is wrong. And just because money is involved, calling it wrong does not make it anti-Semitic. That's the same thing as the right wing argument that calling out racists is racist.

  124. @John LeBaron Being anti-Semitic is prejudice with a hateful history, not merely being "artless". Would any of those hand wringing Democrats being so torn had another artless freshman member made equally vile comments about Islam? We know the answer to that. The fact that she is new to the position should make it easier to rebuke her, not harder.

  125. @John LeBaron I completely agree. I'm Jewish and didn't find her remarks to be antisemitic. They may have been blunt and possibly didn't convey her message properly, but AIPAC and the Israeli government are well-deserving of criticism. I'm sure there's a good solution to the war between Israel and Palestine, and it isn't going to involve one country erasing the other. Both peoples deserve to exist and will have to find a solution that allows them to peacefully co-mingle.

  126. The NYT is saying that so many of the legislative pushes by the progressive, newly elected, house representatives have been overshadowed by this and that...you do realize that you are one of those responsible for that. You have been, and continue to be, biased against any changes to the political norms of democratic moderates, the old democratic guard of being more conservative. You have consistently pushed to make it appear that the newly elected representatives who want a true LIBERAL party representing realistic liberal desire without all the conservative compromising is a bad thing and have constantly reported on this huge infighting and missteps in an attempt to swing voters away from true liberal government. I have always enjoyed reading the NYT, but please stop the blatant biased reporting and understand, and support the fact, that many of us people are happy to have representatives who truly want to make a difference without falling into the political space of compromising their views, what the people who voted them into office in the first place wanted, just to appease a few misleading conservatives and their attempts to derail everything they are trying to do. As far as Ms. Omar’s comments, she, like the rest of us, is entitled to her own free will opinion, and as long as her opinions don’t sway legislation then stop talking about it. You have fanned the flames long enough. And to be honest, her words mostly rang true in my ears. Money is the factor in everything.

  127. @David Parchert Thank you, David. When I read this article, I thought I was reading an opinion piece and not news. The NYT stooped to sensationalism during the 2016 and appears to be doing so again. Why not headline the accomplishments od the Democratic led House rather than making judgements.

  128. @Zoned Thanks you David and Zoned. Yes, NYT is on track to helping Trump get reelected.

  129. "Rusty" after eight years out of power? How polite. Rep. Omar's remarks were wrong and hurtful. The caucus should have dealt with it only in that she repeated the same thing. It seems like her incendiary rhetoric is all she has. The Democrats pledged to focus on issues most of us are keen on, such as environment, income equality and looking into all Trump stuff the GOP is too cowardly to care about. Please folks don't get derailed, even if it means removing a weak link from the foreign relations committee.

  130. @gmt Good thing you have your priorities straight. "Incendiary rhetoric" is far more alarming than Israel bombing hospitals and murdering soccer-playing children on the beach.

  131. As I lifelong moderate Democrat I am waiting for the House Dems to get their act together. I had hoped under Speaker Pelosi's guidance the caucus would hit the ground running. But it appears like it has just hit the ground. Can we take a page from the Republican Playbook? Can we put the brakes on being the politically correct party being so very careful not to "stifle debate?" Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's clearly anti-Semitic views have no place in this "debate" as far as I am concerned. Yet Speaker Pelosi has been criticized for pushing a resolution that condemns anti-Semitism in response to Rep. Omar's bigoted comments. Why? Omar should be stripped of all her committee assignments and ostracized by the caucus, but god forbid the Democrats take that kind of action. It's not all-inclusive! Making room for bigots to have a "voice in the debate" should have no place in the Democratic platform.

  132. @Len being critical of Israel does not equal being anti-semitic. nice try

  133. @Len Censure Steve King first.

  134. Her comments about Israel were spot on. We treat Israel as a country that can "do no wrong" and that simply is not the case. The Trump-like government in the Knesset needs to be taken to task as ours is right now.

  135. @Roy You are so right.

  136. @Roy So Congress giving the foreign occupiers of Palestine $133 billion, so far , and protecting the occupiers from UN sanctions by using the USA`s Security Council veto dozens of times is not a good thing ? FYI it was NOT the American people that voted for these things. It was the Israel Lobby controlled Congress. eg / A 2014 NYT`s article quoted B.Baird a Dem. congressman: “The difficult reality is this: in order to get elected to Congress, if you’re not independently wealthy, you have to raise a lot of money & you learn pretty quickly that, if AIPAC is on your side, you can do that.” It also quoted J. Yarmuth, a congressman from Kentucky, on upholding the interests of the United States: “We all took an oath of office & AIPAC is asking us to ignore it.” Ilhan speaks the truth. The Israel Lobby is squeezing Congress to prevent the truth from being reacted on.

  137. As usual, Democrats fall for manufactured outrage designed to distract and divide. Republicans have virtually nothing to offer other than these types of tactics, certainly not in terms of useful policy, they do it all the time and yet, Democrats never see it coming.

  138. This is a ridiculous issue and and embarrassment for both parties. If someone criticized Spain, they would not be accused of being anti-Catholic. If someone criticized Egypt, they might not be accused of being anti-Muslim but, let's face it, an accusation of being anti-Muslim is not really problematic, right? But, say the mildest things that don't toe the line on Israel and one is branded as an anti-Semite. I would expect nothing less from the GOP, but my Dems need to get it together and fast 'cause it feels like, once again, we're snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Woman up for chrissake!

  139. @A. Jubatus Good point. But no one is criticizing Spain or Egypt. Omar is criticizing Israel over and over again and she is making points that there are dual loyalties. It seems she pays zero attention to the abuses in the Arab world, including her own native country of Somalia. Her goal is to stop US aid to Israel and hope the country disappears....It never will

  140. “It is shameful that House Democrats won’t take a stronger stand against anti-Semitism in their conference,” Mr. Trump wrote in a tweet Wednesday afternoon. “Anti-Semitism has fueled atrocities throughout history and it’s inconceivable they will not act to condemn it!” The very same politicians, lobbyists, special interest groups who support their own self serving special interests in government, foreign affairs and corporate kickbacks are the first ones to cry foul and push forward their rhetoric and denouncing Omar’s comments as anti-semitic. Recently there was a horrific mass shooting in a Pittsburg synagogue where 11 people were killed…….where was the willful condemnation and outrage of that atrocity by these individuals including the President to even commit to a course of act?

  141. Omar will single-handedly flip Minnesota red in 2020.

  142. @Toms Quill Will Steve King flip Iowa Blue in 2020? Just curious.

  143. "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." - Will Rogers

  144. Democrats everywhere should stay the heck off of twitter! Ms Omar has a good point but there is a time and place for that debate and until we unseat republicans in 2020 it is still not time. That said, what kind of lousy leadership inflates division instead of averting it? Ms Pelosi and Jewish democrats need to learn how to deal with criticism better and let things go for the sake of messaging. There are no winners in this fight except for the truly repulsive republicans that are only trying to instigate and inflate democratic party divisions. Democrats need to stop being so reactionary now or lose their positions and support.

  145. Double standard? Do we have to listen to Ms. Omar spew hate and bigotry for as long as Congressman Steve King did likewise before she's censured and stripped of her committee assignments?

  146. @Deja Vu Hook, line and sinker. AIPAC has hooked you as well. How in the world do you conflate Ms. Omar's statements concerning inappropriate political influence by lobbyists with Steve King's support of White Nationalists and White Supremacy? If that is what you take away from this debate, I'm rue the education system we have in America where citizens can not independently think for themselves and just reflexively knee jerk to the latest headline. Labeling Ms. Omar as anti-semitic with her public comments is laughable at best. Sadly, it shows the effectiveness of AIPAC that we are having this discussion at all.

  147. @Deja Vu If you were to do a little homework you would see that Ms. Omar has been as outspoken about Saudi Arabia as she is about Israel. Why should the US pass a resolution supporting Israel? Don't we show our support more than enough by the billions of dollars in aid we give them? Give me a brake. This discussion is taking away from other more important issues that need to be discussed.

  148. @Deja Vu It is ridiculous to compare King and Omar. Moreover, she is already facing a backlash that is far more intense and bipartisan than anything King ever faced. Including death threats from "patriots."

  149. Stop already. Focus on what matters.

  150. @ak: Right. Racism and xenophobia only matter when they come from Republicans or conservatives. We get it. Democrats, liberals and progressives get a pass when they spew hate.

  151. I am sure some one, perhaps Anti Defamation League, has kept a count of what percentage of charges of anti-Semitism are linked to criticism of Israel. My guess is that the percentage would be very high. This tactic, of tarring any one as anti-Semitic, when a person criticizes Israel, or Zionism, is an old one but is now being used so often that it is being noticed by all and can no longer be ignored by mainstream media. Those who level these charges are hurting Israel which needs to change its policies. Israel must admit that it was created on a land confiscated from Palestinians already living there - Palestinian Muslims, Christians, and Jews. No one wants to undo Israel's creation, even though it was grossly unfair to the Palestinians. However, Israel's position has always been that it is a victim and the other side must make all the concessions, concessions which keep multiplying over the years. Israel was created to give a homeland to the European Jews who had suffered immensely not only during WWII but also before like under the Tsars. After its creation it sent out a call for Jews anywhere to come settle in Israel, whether they were being persecuted or not in their countries. India's Jews left even though they were under no threat because the people saw this call as an opportunity to migrate to a land that opened a door to the wealthy West. Israel lost a great opportunity to become a diverse democratic nation rather than a Jewish Nation.

  152. @Meenal Mamdani Hear! Hear! Thank you.

  153. @Meenal Mamdani "No one wants to undo Israel's creation . . . ." Please don't speak for everyone. The violent, brutal imposition of Israel on Palestine was the singular worst US foreign policy decision of the 20th century. Truman was advised that recognizing Israel would unleash terrible consequences in the region. Albert Einstein was very opposed to establishing a Zionist state, and wrote a letter to the NY Times objecting to Israel. So, yes, some of us do want to undo Israel's creation. Those Jews who have historic (pre-1948) ties to the country should of course remain. American and European colonizers should be forced out.

  154. The Democrats have apparently forgotten how to use power. They are shooting themselves in their feet, and pretty soon, they won't be able to take even one step. Furthermore, I think people with clear heads need to take control of the DNC. The DNC desperately needs new leadership if they have any desire to recapture the White House in 2020. At the moment, it looks like the DNC is on a suicide mission, with the far, far left in the lead. That is not good for the DNC or for the country.

  155. How does criticizing a _lobbying group_ undermine Israel's right to exist, as one commentator asserts? How is it anti-Semitic? I object to what I regard as the cynicism and hypocrisy of the right-wing evangelical lobbying groups, but do not see that as anti-Christian in the least. No matter. I fear that this firestorm and the Dems' inept response (not to mention the uses that the GOP will make of all this) have cost us the 2020 election. And that loss will put into question _everyone's_ right to exist. With sorrow, Harriet in San Francisco

  156. In the 1920s Al Smith was accused of having dual loyalties, to the Catholic Church and the US. It was clearly prejudicial and derailed his career. 1960 when Kennedy ran for president it was said he too would have dual loyalty- to the Catholic Church and the the US. It was recognized for what it was- a prejudicial attempt and clear bigotry against Catholics (Irish or otherwise). It is no different with Ms Omar's statements regarding AIPAC money and the inference of Jewish dual loyalties . It is not separating Israel from antisemitism- it is continuing the old trope of antisemitism. We place an inordinate focus on heritage and cultural recognition. Does that mean Irish Americans have dual loyalties? Italian Americans? Greek Americans? Of course not- so why make the claim regarding those who are Jewish? For Ms Omar and others who claim that AIPAC lobbying facilitates out of proportion money and support to Israel- the US provides vast sums of money and other forms of in-kind aid to numerous foreign countries, many of which do not contribute to the US at all. Why have Ms Omar and her supporters failed to mention this- or to discuss the contributions the State of Israel has provided to the USA since 1948? For the record, I am Jewish and like many other Americans who are Jewish, I do have reservations regarding the power of the ultra-orthodox in Israel, but that is an issue regarding internal policies in Israel.

  157. Criticism of Israeli government policies, or the behavior of wealthy Zionist lobbyists does not amount to anti-Semitism, whether one agrees with Ms. Omar's comments or not. What's next, one who criticizes China's trade policies will be regarded as anti-Sino? We live in a democracy, at least for the time being. Let's have an intelligent debate.

  158. Omar is right and can be as anti-Israel as she deems fit. It’s about time someone spoke the truth about this country’s policies. I admire her courage.

  159. The sheer incompetence of proposing an anti-semitism resolution and then having to delay it is mind blowing. One of the main reasons we have this detestable President is because the Democratic Party is so amazingly incompetent. In a country that has an abundance of brilliant decent sensible people, how did we end up with this clown show?

  160. @Baldwin Because we really do only care about money.

  161. there should be more, not less, criticism of israel. its not a stumble. color me shocked that the presumably jewish authors (at least one of them, thrush isnt exactly a jewish name) of this article have a bias against criticism of can-do-no-wrong israel. as a jew myself, i was nearly excommunicated from family based on my views of israel (read: not good). i went to a jewish pre school, went to jewish after school lessons, and was bat mitzvah'd. i remember a blow out fight in my teens with my father about how no, israel does not have the right to treat palestinians the way that they do. nobody talks about jewish bias against arabs and muslims. israel is not our 51st state, theyre a poor ally, they demand our weapons and funding in exchange for killing palestinians and housing them in an open air prison. their government is far right and led by a corrupt, hateful idiot. they have close ties with sunni saudi arabia and have been on a war drum beat over shiite iran for years now, trying to ensnare us in yet another unnecessary war in the middle east thats really a proxy religious war between sunni and shiite muslims. and unbelievably and unconstitutionally our dual loyalty lawmakers (many of whom are NOT jewish) demand state workers sign oaths against partaking in their first amendment right to BDS or lose their jobs. im sick to death of lawmakers putting israeli interests above american ones. many of them are evangelicals wanting christ to return if jews run israel.

  162. The civil war in the Democratic Party that Steve Bannon predicted has begun. Omar and AOC are the gifts that keep on giving. They hate Isreal. Ilhan is a trojan horse and should be deported. The DNC is no longer American. Big losses ahead!

  163. By the report of a Jewish woman writing for The Nation who has "been fighting antisemitism my whole life" and actually was present when Omar's remarks were made, the remarks were not antisemitic. It is important to get that right. It is as important for this news source to be clear about the difference in criticism of a government and condemnation of a religion as it is for Congress. This whole brouhaha could have been avoided by using a cool head over a hot one. Condemning the outrageous, bullying actions of Bibi's government is entirely called for. He treats Palestinian's like vermin and encourages stealing their land. In so doing,he inflames the region, which is a tinder box at its best. AIPEC lost all respect when Bibi came to speak in Congress without the involvement of Obama. Low, dirty politics. Enough is enough.

  164. I put the Jews with the Greeks and the Romans as far as groups that have positively shaped western culture. Their contributions in science, the arts, medicine, law, and business are incredible, especially given the size of their populations. The fact that they have done this is the face of centuries of oppression is even more astonishing. If Jews are a bit hyper-sensitive about anti-semitism, they have every right to be, given recent history. The Democrats caving to their progressive wing is unprincipled - be better than that! Let the Jews know they are always safe here and we are glad they are Americans.

  165. I want all these pearl clutchers to keep griping. Every time one of these imps open their mugs - be it an establishment (read: bought-and-paid-for) Dem or Republican - to complain about how the simple act of criticizing Israel is seen as anti-Semitic, they sound more and more ridiculous. This debate - about how Israel has too much influence on our own country's foreign policy - is worth having. And I hope all those politicians that receive AIPAC contributions keep yammng on about it.

  166. Good old NYTimes spreading the "Gospel of Republican Nonsense" Democratic leaders have been clobbering the crime syndicate in the past several weeks. Shooting down the vanity wall, the Cohen bombshell testimony, 6 House investigations that have already led to new state investigations are hardly "stumbles." The "controversy" over a mild criticism of Israeli policies is an entirely GOP driven narrative, being most hypocritically spread by actual anti-Semites in the Republican party. The reason Republicans are piling on her, and now you are too, is because she is Black and wears a Hijab. Thanks for picking up the flag for Fox "White House" News and putting it in print

  167. Can a strategist for the DNC tell me why the Democratic leadership keeps shooting themselves by biting on the slightest hint of political incorrectness bait? Isn't such PI one of the reasons some people got fed up and turned to Trump? Can the Democrats find more tangible things that many people actually care about?

  168. These are not stumbles, but the inevitable result of an intentionally dishonest campaign. Democrats promised moderation and gave us angry radicalism and antisemitism. The word for this is Corbynization. The eventual cost is defeat.

  169. Democratic identity politics=4 more years of Trump.

  170. This is an open and shut decision for Pelosi.her decision whether she should condemn the anti Semite Omar or bow to the Anti Semitic Black Caucus, who have never forgiven Netanyahu for his opposition to Obama. As a 65 year supporter for liberal issues , her decision will determine whether I stay a Democrat. I am no longer a Liberal who’s main issue is to destroy Israel. I was a supporter of Muslim Rights and a Two state solution.I now see the hatred of Jews by people like Omar & her Black supporters. My main concern now is the survival of Israel, and I will vote for Trump in 2020.

  171. @Independent1776 trump will win, because he's your ideological home and the ideological home of most Americans. I'm not saying this is good.

  172. This is a total sham and as Democrat I am more than embarrassed. It is amazing that one cannot say anything against the government (NOT the people) of Israel, or AIPAC without being branded anti semitic. Growing up in NY I was always living with my Jewish neighbors and grew to love their culture and reviled in eating dinners at friend homes. There are very bad things with AIPAC and if Omar cannot speak to the issues - shame on us. Perhaps it is about the money and getting re-elected. The Democratic party looks like fools and the other side of the isle is rightfully looking down at us, looking forward to 2020.

  173. I am certain that you meant reveled, not “reviled”. Autocorrect gremlins.

  174. If Ms. Omar would do us the courtesy of merely stating without qualification that there is no nation on Earth that does not have the right to exist, and that she accepts as established and immutable fact the United Nations resolutions that led to the creation of the State of Israel, I think everything could move forward in a constructive way. But, I'm afraid I see implacable hatred in the Congresswoman's countenance, and hear bigotry in her utterances and tweets, painting the State of Israel and all who defend her existence, especially American Jewry, as blind, mindless acolytes of the policies and objectives of the Netanyahu government. which case, one must ask if it will take as

  175. This is not a Republican vs. Democrat thing. This is based on the fact that ms. Omar, who accuses others of "duel-loyalty," is more interested in hurting Jews than in passing meaningful reform in this country.

  176. Ben Johnson said that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." To update: "equating anti-semitism and anti-israel is the last refuge of a scoundrel." Or maybe the first refuge.

  177. @George Washington George Washington not the 16th/17th century critic, poet and playwriter (Ben Jonson), but Samuel Johnson, the 18th century critic, poet and lexicographer

  178. As I've been saying for a while, this is another example of how the Democrats are going to throw away a 2020 victory with both hands. Appearing weak and feckless in a situation that is sufficiently clear cut to take a principled stand is an easy enough opportunity to differentiate themselves from the lamented behavior of the president. Instead, they hem and haw, make excuses, dodge the issue, lest they get even a modicum of disapproval from one of the many identity groups they have nurtured to their collective bosom. Sorry, but the sum total of things like this only gives the fledgling 2020 Trump campaign an easy talking point to say look at them!

  179. I thought the NYT wrote it had learned its lesson after the 2016 election. Why are they insinuating successful efforts by the House Democrats as failures and highlighting one insignificant outlier? Ilhan Omar does not belong on the front page page in bold headlines. She does not represent the Democratic Party. This is an opinion piece that belongs on the op-ed page. Sensationalism has replaced responsible reporting. If this were true in the sixties, we would have been hearing more about Kennedy's affairs than about the Cuban crisis.

  180. It isn't anti-Semitism to condemn Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. That is not to say that there is no anti-Semitism in the world, but to play the anti-Semitism card in this instance does injury to Israel.

  181. It is March 2019, show me the candidate that can beat Trump!

  182. I agree that one can criticize Israel’s current government and not be antisemitic. But it’s getting harder for me to see the distinction. Slogans of the BDS movement and the activities of students on college campuses are an unholy mixture of both. One gets the impression that chants of “free Palestine” and “right of return” equals the destruction of the State of Israel itself and the elimination of Jews there and not just the Netanyahu government. Omar used the phrase “allegiance to a foreign country”. That wasn’t merely a poor choice of words. That trope has been used for decades to defame Jews in the country in which they reside. Jews, who constantly live looking over their shoulders, know what she meant. Now she will probably complain privately that this furor she created is the very proof of the power that Jews are supposed to have. Well, the rest of us didn’t get that memo. Is this what the voters in her constituency were concerned about when they elected her – a local representative of the Palestinian cause – or did they think they were getting someone who was concerned with the welfare of her district? I hope they make a better choice next time.

  183. Last week Pelosi was gushed over for her stand on the border wall and now we skewer her over a junior rep? Talk about fickle! The Left really has a way of losing the PR war. As The Left hailed diversity it seems they refuse to hail diverse opinion. If one rep can cause this much turmoil what is going to happen when it has to go up against the Trump disciples in 2020. The current situation is giving the Russians and Fox the roadmap to wreck havoc in 2020. I suggest The Left get everybody in a room and lock the door and resolve this before it snowballs. Who needs a Benghazi in 2020 when The Left is loading the guns of their circular firing squad in 2019. You know your digging your own grave when Trump has the gall to call someone Racist.

  184. @Steven McCain It's not the left, it's the moderates (whom NYT represent)

  185. Since all those bills proposed and passed by the House have zero chance of becoming law, why does it matter one fig if these bills are being sidetracked by debates over Ilhan Omar? All of this is political theater. No one seems to understand this. Almost nothing of substance will be accomplished over the next two years because we have a divided government in a highly partisan climate. Stop worrying about what the House does or does not pass. Remember the 70+ times Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare? This is what Democrats are doing now. They're passing protest bills. If those protest bills get overshadowed over a protracted fight about Ilhan Omar, fine by me.

  186. @Murph Republicans passed the exact same bill, over and over and over again knowing it had no chance. Until democrats write and pass the same thing 70 times your argument has no merit. Should democrats in the house simply do nothing? Not pass anything? That's what you want to see them do?

  187. I think ant-semitism is being used incorrectly. I can be against a US policy towards Israel and not have a hatred of Jewish people. The use of slush funds to purchase votes by Israel is no different than the NRA's use of funds to the same end . I agree the dual loyalty statement is borderline but would challenge that all the laws we pass to support Catholic precepts such as outlawing abortion and Gay rights may fall in the same realm of congressional judgement being clouded by religious affiliations and campaign donations. Unfortunately the "anti-semitism" cat is out of the bag and instead of having a real discussion on how lobby's are controlling the votes of many in our congress we are being distracted by emotion and religious beliefs.

  188. So, the latest iteration of the "Dems in Disarray" story, which is the laziest story line in political reporting, is based on (1) an obscure procedural misstep that, I would imagine, not a single voter cares about, (2) the fact that Congressional democrats are taking their oversight responsibilities seriously, and there is consequently a flurry of activity that political reporters evidently find inconvenient and (3) the ongoing Omar saga (sadly mischaracterized here as "all but accusing supporters of Israel of dual loyalty"--in context, her statement was an inartful criticism of the outsized influence of AIPAC, which is in fact not an advocate for Israel writ large, but rather for Likud). As to the latter, I for one will take a spirited dispute about policy over the zombie lockstep of the Republicans that has brought us the appalling tragedy that is the Trump administration.

  189. @diggory venn Sorry -- I actually care about what she said, but more importantly what the response is from the Democratic caucus (and, truthfully, the presidential candidates). As for what she said, it's pretty offensive, and in context/"code" is so similar to anti-Semitic tropes on dual loyalty (and slurs on other religious groups, think Dr. Norman Vincent Peale about John F. Kennedy -- let's leave aside the mess that is going on in the UK's Labour Party with Jeremy Corbin as another self-inflicted wound) that listeners who have any semblance of historical perspective blanch. As for the rest, of course you can be opposed to Israel's government (or the UK, or Russia, or take your pick) without being anti-Semitic, but when you combine it all together, it reeks. Maybe Rep. Omar doesn't have that background, or apparently some of the presidential candidates, but a lot of people do.

  190. News flash: Twitter destroys democracy.

  191. Omar will single-handedly flip Minnesota to Red in 2020. Trump will win Minnesota, and the election.

  192. @Toms Quill: If that happens, it will be proof of Ms. Omar's concerns about the power of the Israel lobby.

  193. @Jeff Really? It couldn't possibly be that she doesn't really represent her district with this nonsense?