After days of debate surrounding the comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., the House passed a resolution condemning all forms of hatred, including anti-Semitism, racism, Islamophobia, and other forms of bigotry, reported NBC News.
The resolution was created in response to backlash Omar faced over her remarks comparing lawmakers’ allegiance to pro-Israel lobbies to that of “the NRA, or fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma.” As a result, Khan was accused of pushing anti-Semitism.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Thursday that Omar’s comments “deeply and correctly unsettled American Jewish communities because [the] allegation is simply put: that American Jews who support Israel are not loyal to this country.”
“The accusation that Jews bear dual allegiance because of support for Israel and concerns for its safety are false and they are also hurtful,” Hoyer told reporters.
Although Khan did apologize for offending Jewish Americans and attempted to explain her reasoning, she was still branded an anti-Semite by some people on the right.
Initially, Democrats were split about their support for an initial plan for a resolution that focused only on anti-Semitism. However, when Khan, who is Black and Muslim, began facing racist and Islamophobic death threats, the resolution was broadened to include hateful language against all minority groups.
The vote was 427 in favor, with 23 against and one member, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, voting "present." The 23 lawmakers who opposed the resolution were all Republicans and many wanted a measure that focused solely on anti-Semitism.
Many people criticized people on the right for fighting the inclusive nature of the resolution, which also stated that "white supremacists in the United States have exploited and continue to exploit bigotry and weaponize hate for political gain."
“Today is historic on many fronts," Omar herself said in a statement following the vote, marking her first comment on the resolution. “...We are tremendously proud to be part of a body that has put forth a condemnation of all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white supremacy."
"At a time when extremism is on the rise, we must explicitly denounce religious intolerance of all kinds and acknowledge the pain felt by all communities. Our nation is having a difficult conversation and we believe this is great progress,” she added.
In the end, many Republicans were called out for having “selective outage” against anti-Semitism but not wholeheartedly condemning Congressman Steve King, who repeatedly echoed white nationalistic ideas.
In 2017, King tweeted, “We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies,” and he recently said he doesn’t understand what’s so wrong about calling yourself a white nationalist.
Even though Omar was forced to apologize and clarify her original statement when Democrats condemned her remarks, King has not apologized nor has he been called out by his colleagues. Kamala Harris (D.-CA.) publicly backed Omar amid the controversy.
“Like some of my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk,” the California senator’s statement read.
“We should be having a sound, respectful discussion about policy. You can both support Israel and be loyal to our country. I also believe there is a difference between criticism of policy or political leaders and anti-Semitism,” Harris added. “At the end of the day, we need a two-state solution and a commitment to peace, human rights, and democracy by all leaders in the region — and a commitment by our country to help achieve that.”
(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)