Lieberman Hopes Former Colleagues Talk To New Members With Anti-Israel Views

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
Font Size:

WASHINGTON — Former Connecticut Sen. and 2004 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman wants members of Congress to stand up for Israel when younger freshmen members speak out against the Jewish state.

“These are people who are new here and people who have a different attitude towards Israel ought to talk to them,” Lieberman told The Daily Caller on Thursday when he visited the Capitol.

Anti-Israel comments made by Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar have been scrutinized by Republicans and made several Democratic lawmakers uncomfortable since the new session started.

Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN)speaks to media outside the US Captiol on January 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Omar has written, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” (RELATED: Rep. Omar Defends Tweet Claiming ‘Israel Has Hypnotized The World,’ Says It’s Not About Religion)

Last week, Minnesota rep. claimed it made her “almost chuckle” Israel is called a Jewish state and as a democracy, “because I know that if … we see that in any other society we would criticize it.”

Omar added, “We do that to Iran, to any other place that sort of upholds its religion.”

Tlaib also caused a stir when she defended now-former CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill for remarks he made when he called for physical “violence” against Jews in Israel and the elimination of the Jewish state.

Additionally, she voiced her support for legislation that would establish boycotting, divesting, and sanctions against Israel. (RELATED: Sen. Rubio’s Office: It’s ‘Deeply Alarming’ Rep. Tlaib Was Photographed With Pro-Hezbollah Activist)

“There [are] situations in our conference where a member does something that is wrong — I think you’ve seen from my own actions that I take action about it,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters during a press conference Friday, referencing the leadership’s removal of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King from his committees over comments he made about white nationalism to the New York Times last month.

“I think when they stay silent, they are just as guilty,” McCarthy added.

When asked by a reporter about Tlaib’s anti-Israel remarks, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, a member of the anti-Semitism task force, replied, “Well, because instead of her, you know, talking about things — she’s new here — she ought to listen and learn and open her mind and then come to some conclusions. If you’re going to be close-minded and have your views then no one’s going to change her views.”

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) leaves after a caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol January 9, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Engel went on to say, “But I would hope that once you’re elected to Congress you would at least care to see the other side of the coin. I think that sometimes when you look at an issue you will notice that there is another side of the coin and I would hope that she would learn that and she would she would do that.”

The New York Times reported that Engel told Omar, who also sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in private that her “particularly hurtful” comments would not be “swept under the rug.” Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, also told The Times that Omar’s and Tlaib’s remarks “fall into longstanding anti-Semitic tropes.”

Although Lieberman went from being a long-time Democrat to becoming an Independent before he left Congress in 2013, he remains a fierce supporter of Israel appears to have hope that many of the new House members in the Democratic Party are not as far left as some think.

When asked by TheDC if he was concerned that the Democratic Party was lurching too far to the left, he replied, “Well that’s the more general subject which, obviously, I’m concerned about,” he said.

Lieberman went on to say, “And I think the important thing to say is that most of the new Democrats elected to the House are actually centrist or center-left. They’re not further left. That’s the story that’s not being told.”

Follow Kerry on Twitter

Kerry Picket is a host on SiriusXM Patriot 125