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?