Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar apologises over accusations of anti-semitic remarks

Newly-elected US lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib made their debut in the House of Representatives openly declaring their support for a boycott of Israel

Omar Ilhan in anti-Semitism row for saying AIPAC money behind Republican support for Israel

When a user asked who Omar believes is paying United States politicians to support Israel, the former Somali refugee tweeted a one-word response: "AIPAC!".

AIPAC quickly responded to Omar's slanderous tweet saying, "We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the US-Israel relationship".

"My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole", she said.

"I unequivocally apologize", Omar said.

Starnes noted the "bipartisan outrage" following Omar's criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), including from former first daughter Chelsea Clinton.

She referenced that criticism again after her apology Monday: "I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIRPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry". "I think it is actually exciting because we are finally able to have conversations that we weren't really willing to before", she told CNN.

Omar is one of a handful of high-profile freshmen Democratic women, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY and Rashida Tlaib of MI, who often use social media to speak to their followers and lash out at criticism.

The six official leaders of the Democratic House have condemned Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for "anti-Semitism" and "hatred" because she tweeted last night that the Israel lobby group AIPAC has influence over the Congress "because of the Benjamins" - the money AIPAC helps funnel to Congress to support Israel.

House Democratic leaders are calling on Representative Ilhan Omar, D, to apologise for what many saw as anti-Semitic comments perpetuating the exhausted stereotype that Jews control politics with money.

A new Democratic congresswoman is facing a firestorm of criticism for suggesting USA politicians only support Israel because of lobby money. "Bad form, Congresswoman. That's the second ant-Semitic trope you've tweeted".

But the tweet was swiftly condemned by high-profile figures on both sides of the aisle, including a former US ambassador to Israel and Chelsea Clinton, whose husband is Jewish.

Rep Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., called for her removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Pelosi said they had an "excellent meeting".

Democratic Representative Max Rose, who is Jewish, slammed her comments as divisive and unnecessary.

There is a reason that Ilhan Omar has resorted to anti-Semitic tropes in the the course of her brief public career so far. In fact, Jewish lawmakers in recent weeks have met to discuss what they should do about their new colleagues, who openly criticise Israel and have made insensitive comments about Jews and Jewish Americans.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, said on Twitter, "Rep. Omar's use of anti-Semitic stereotype was offensive and irresponsible".

But others have called the attacks a smear campaign against Ms Omar, and some noted that there is a difference between criticising AIPAC activities and anti-semitism.

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