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Ilhan Omar Apologizes over Israel Tweet

Democratic Minnesota RepresentativeĀ Ilhan OmarĀ has Democratic Minnesota RepresentativeĀ Ilhan OmarĀ has "unequivocally" apologized for tweets suggesting a powerful pro-Israel interest group paid members of Congress to support Israel. |  Photo: Minnesota Legislature

Updated: February 11, 2019 02:56 PM

Freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has "unequivocally" apologized for tweets suggesting a powerful pro-Israel interest group paid members of Congress to support Israel. Earlier Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats had rebuked her for the tweets.
 
Omar said she had no intention of offending anyone by a tweet over the weekend suggesting that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, was behind the scheme. Another tweet mentioned "the Benjamins," a reference to $100 bills.
 
AIPAC denied the assertion, and Democrats said they were shocked.
 
Omar tweeted Monday afternoon: "I unequivocally apologize." She thanked her colleagues for educating her on anti-Semitic Jewish tropes. She said the influence of money in politics remains a problem and must be addressed.

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Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel on Monday warned members of his panel that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated.
 
In a statement, he did not directly mention Rep. Ilhan Omar's tweet but Engel said he finds it "shocking to hear a member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of 'Jewish money.'" He said he will emphasize to committee members of both parties that the American-Israeli relationship is important.
 
Omar's tweet sparked a bipartisan backlash. Some lawmakers called on Democrats to remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee. 

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan also released a statement Monday calling on Rep. Omar to be removed from House Foreign Affairs Committee:

"The level of hate and continuous anti-Semitic behavior from Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is scary and irresponsible," she wrote. "While House Democrat leaders sent out a statement denouncing Rep. Omar's acts, that is not enough.  She must be pulled from the House Foreign Affairs Committee immediately.  Rep. Omar represents the city of St. Louis Park, located in  Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District, which is home to the largest Jewish community in the state.  Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar, Senator Tina Smith and Reps. Dean Phillips, Collin Peterson surely must stand up to this overt hatred and anti-Semitism."  

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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