JNS noted B’nai B’rith International’s call to have Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who has a history of making anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements, dismissed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
On Jan. 7 after midnight, the 118th Congress was finally sworn in with the election of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to the House speakership. Democrats had managed to gain one Senate seat in November’s midterms, breaking the 50:50 tie in the upper chamber that required Vice President Kamala Harris to break tied votes.
For some anti-Israel Democratic lawmakers, the future is uncertain.
A House minority leader
During the midterm elections, Republicans recaptured the House by a narrow margin. Democrats nominated Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) as the minority leader of the House of Representatives, succeeding Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was long majority leader.
Jeffries made history as the first Black lawmaker to lead a party in either chamber of Congress, with Jewish Democrats lauding his appointment amid the transition to a Republican majority in the House.
“It’s a historic day,” Democratic Majority for Israel President and CEO Mark Mellman said in a statement, calling Jeffries “a strong and effective fighter for the Democratic agenda and a staunch supporter of the critical relationship between the United States and Israel.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar and Foreign Affairs
House Speaker McCarthy’s long-standing pledge to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the legislature’s Foreign Affairs Committee was welcomed by several Jewish and pro-Israel groups.
“Look at Congresswoman Omar, her antisemitic comments that have gone forward. We’re not going to allow her to be on Foreign Affairs,” McCarthy said in reiterating his vow during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” on Nov. 20.
Omar’s antisemitic and anti-Israel comments include accusing the Jewish state of having “hypnotized the world,” Jews of buying control of Congress and Israel of being an “apartheid state,” and likening Israel to the Taliban and Hamas terrorist groups.
AIPAC, B’nai B’rith, the Republican Jewish Coalition and ZOA have called on McCarthy to dismiss Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.