South Carolina Democratic House Majority Whip James Clyburn defended Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from accusations of anti-Semitism Wednesday.
Clyburn’s defense focused on the fact that Omar is a refugee, and he claimed that her experiences escaping violence in her home country are worse than those of descendants of Holocaust survivors. (RELATED: Omar Facing More Accusations Of Anti-Semitism)
Omar ruffled feathers with comments she made last week regarding the “dual loyalty” she believes members of Congress are expected to have toward Israel. Many of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle have condemned her statements, including some members of the Foreign Affairs Committee on which she sits.
Alternatively, some Democrats, including Clyburn, have come to Omar’s defense. (RELATED: ADL Calls For Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism Following Rep. Omar’s Comments)
The Hill reported, “Clyburn came to Omar’s defense Wednesday, lamenting that many of the media reports surrounding the recent controversy have omitted mentioning that Omar, who was born in Somalia, had to flee the country to escape violence and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before coming to the United States.”
The article then quoted him saying, “I’m serious about that. There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors.’ ‘My parents did this.’ It’s more personal with her. I’ve talked to her, and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”
A resolution condemning anti-Semitism was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, but it was delayed. The text of the resolution did not mention her by name. There have been reports that additional language condemning Islamophobia would be added and Clyburn confirmed that.
“She won’t be targeted. We’re going to target those people who had her picture on the Twin Towers,” he continued. “This resolution is going to be inclusive, it’s going to be expansive, and I might just try to add something to deal with that billboard that’s up in Pennsylvania this morning calling John Lewis and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus racists.”