Omar Releases Statement After Backlash Surrounding Tweet Accusing AIPAC Of Buying Pro-Israel Support

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Mike Brest Reporter
Font Size:

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar released a statement on Monday afternoon after facing backlash for accusing a pro-Israel lobbying group of buying Congressional support in exchange for backing Israel.

Omar alleged the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) buys pro-Israel support from American politicians in a tweet Sunday night.

Her insinuation was met with widespread condemnation from both sides of the aisle from members of Congress, including Speaker Pelosi who called it “anti-Semitic” and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. (RELATED: Omar Retweets Statement Equating Her Israel Comments With Calling Jews ‘Hooked-Nosed’)

“Anti-Semitism is real, and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” her statement reads. “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

It continued, “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”

Her apology comes not only after Pelosi’s condemnation, but after House Democrats Rep. Josh Gottheimer and Rep. Elaine Luria circulated a letter addressed to Democratic leadership trying to convince them to address anti-Semitism.

Omar has made numerous statements critical of Israel, including some that have been labeled as anti-Semitic. She has admitted support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement, implied that Israel is not a democracy, and has previously accused Israel of “[hypnotizing] the world,” although she has since apologized for it.

Follow Mike on Twitter