Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) once again faces withering criticism amid charges of anti-Semitism from House leadership who no longer are willing to chalk up her controversial remarks to naiveté. (USA Today)

On Friday, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., called on Omar to apologize for “a vile, anti-Semitic slur” she made at a town hall event in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday where she suggested Israel demands “allegiance” from American lawmakers. 

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” the congresswoman from Minnesota said in a video of the event shared on Facebook.


She was joined at the event by Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.; and Mark Pocan, D-Wis.

Omar and Tlaib are the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Omar said she was concerned that because of their religion, “a lot of our Jewish colleagues, a lot of our constituents, a lot of our allies, (think) that everything we say about Israel (is) anti-Semitic because we are Muslim.” 

Omar claims the charges of anti-Semitism against her are “designed to end the debate” about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Critics argue that Omar’s perceived insults reinforce negative stereotypes about the historically persecuted Jewish people.

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