A Democratic congresswoman described as a “virulent antisemite” has been given a senior foreign-affairs role in “upholding and protecting” human rights.
Ilhan Omar, a Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota who was re-elected in November, has in the past accused Israel of “hypnotising” the world. She apologised for the remark, but subsequently alleged that American political leaders’ support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins” (a reference to $100 bills that feature the likeness of Benjamin Franklin) and, following criticism, doubled down by complaining that it seemed to be “okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Rep. Omar’s comments employ classic antisemitic tropes about Jewish influence, wealth, dual loyalty and conspiracy and she has persistently faced significant criticism. A former Republican White House speechwriter has now branded her a “virulent antisemite” and described her promotion to Vice-Chair of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights as “absolutely appalling”.
In the past, Congressional Republicans took steps to ostracise Rep. Steve King after he made comments sympathetic to the far-right, and he subsequently lost a party primary in Iowa as a result and is no longer in Congress. Recently, another Republican congresswoman, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, has been heavily criticised and stripped of committee appointments after making antisemitic statements.