Rep. Josh Gottheimer came to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar last week.
For anyone that follows politics, the likelihood of that statement being true is comparable to a Hatfields standing up for a McCoy.
But Gottheimer spoke up for his fellow Democrat as Republicans voted Omar off the House Foreign Affairs Committee for past comments that invoked antisemitic tropes that Congress was paid to support Israel as well as American Jews had pledged allegiance to a foreign country. Gottheimer himself sought to pass a resolution against Omar for her antisemitic comments in 2019.
Additionally, the Minnesota lawmaker’s remarks equating atrocities carried out by the U.S. military to those committed by terrorist groups like the Taliban and Hamas were cited by Republicans as well.
The removal of Omar, along with Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is seen as political payback by Republicans. The latter were campaign promises Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy made before the midterms in what Dems attribute to the impeachment convictions of Donald Trump; the former was retribution for Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) being stripped of their committee assignments for social media posts in which they endorsed violence against Democrats in 2021.
We disagree with the moves by Republicans because as Gottheimer and his colleagues noted, stripping a fellow Congress member should be a higher bar than politics.
“Removing a Member of Congress for inciting violence is appropriate,” argued Gottheimer. “However, removing a member for having different viewpoints—even ones I strongly oppose—violates the entire basis of our democracy.”
Rightly infuriating Democrats is the hypocrisy of Republicans targeting Omar while saying nothing about antisemitic remarks by members of their own party, including Taylor Greene who previously touted an antisemitic conspiracy theory that suggested the Rothschilds, a wealthy Jewish banking family that are often featured in conspiracy theories, profited from California wildfires supposedly caused by “lasers or blue beams of light” from space.
Most see this as politics as usual. We are here to tell you it’s not. Because there is a page 2 to this story.
Omar and Gottheimer are co-sponsors of the Recognizing Israel as America’s Legitimate and Democratic Ally and Condemning Antisemitism resolution.
While Taylor Green and others of her ilk continue associating with White Nationalists, the Minnesota and New Jersey lawmakers sought common ground to fight the rise in antisemitism.
Gotthemier commented that the resolution “will reinforce to people across our country, especially the scores of young people who look up to Congresswoman Omar, the importance of rejecting reflexive antisemitism and historic tropes, and seeing Israel as a key, historic, democratic ally of the United States.”
The rise in antisemitism continues to hit closer and closer to home—a 25 year old Clifton man just last week attempted to firebomb a Bloomfield synagogue.
Don’t get us wrong—we are not fans of either Omar’s or Greene’s extremist politics. But there is a clear difference on the paths each has chosen in Washington.
Words matter, especially from our political leaders. But as importantly, so do their actions. Omar has shown a willingness to grow and work with those she does not agree with. Can you say the same thing about Taylor Greene?
Thank you for this thoughtful piece. Everyone has a right to be wrong, to see their error, to apologize and to make appropriate amends. The co-sponsorship strikes me at the latter.
Unfortunately, McCarthy is NOT interested in fairness or bi-partisan positions, but he HAS to do MTG’s bidding, as if she gets angry, she can ask for the removal of McCarthy from HIS current position.
Claiming that Omar “has shown a willingness to grow and work with those she does not agree with” is 100% gaslighting. She is a bigot and raving anti-semite who only apologized when her committee seat was threatened.
She regularly incites violence against Jews by lying about U.S. aid to Israel, promotes smears that Israel practices apartheid, equates the US and Israel to the Taliban, and compares the goals of the terror group Hamas to the struggle of black Americans against police brutality.
Omar has claimed that Israel has ” hypnotized the world,” obscuring world leaders from seeing its “evil.” She has also suggested that wealthy Jews dictate congressional Republicans’ support for Israel. She has repeatedly accused members of Congress and American Jews of having divided loyalties.
Democrats have not condemned her like Republicans did with Steve King. Pelosi and others cover for Omar by claiming she doesn’t know any better as though she’s just a child. She’s a 40-year-old woman who formerly served as a policy fellow at the University of Minnesota. She knows exactly what she’s saying and the impact of her hateful rhetoric.