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Pence Takes Aim at Congresswoman Omar, Says She 'Should Never' Sit on Powerful Committee

03-26-2019
Credit: Associated Press

Vice President Mike Pence blasted Ilhan Omar (D-MN) Monday for her comments about Israel and the Jewish people and charged Democrats with open anti-Semitism. 

Pence addressed the annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and rebuked Omar and said she should not be allowed to sit on one of the most powerful committees in Congress. 

"Recently, a freshman Democrat in Congress trafficked and repeated anti-Semitic tropes, alleged congressional support for Israel reflected an allegiance to a foreign country, said that Israel had, and I quote, 'hypnotized the world', and she accused Americans who support Israel of being bought off by campaign contributions. Anti-Semitism has no place in the Congress of the United States of America," Pence said. 

"And at a minimum, anyone who slanders those who support this historic alliance between the United States and Israel should never have a seat on the Foreign Affairs committee of the United States House of Representatives," he continued. 

Pence also condemned the Democratic presidential candidates who chose to boycott the AIPAC conference. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, are among the 2020 contenders who have refused to attend. 

"Eight Democratic candidates are actually boycotting this very conference. So let me be very clear on this point, anyone who aspires to the highest office in the land should not be afraid to stand with the strongest supporters of Israel in America. It is wrong to boycott Israel and it is wrong to boycott AIPAC," Pence said. 

Meanwhile, a pair of pro-Israel Democrats in the US House of Representatives are pushing a new measure to officially condemn the "Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions" (BDS) movement against the Jewish state. 
 
Politico reports that House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) sent a letter to colleagues Thursday describing the BDS movement's goal as "Israel's elimination."

US lawmakers in the Senate are also pushing two new bills to condemn anti-Semitism. 

Israel's i24News reports that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will introduce a resolution Tuesday declaring that "anti-Semitism has for hundreds of years included attacks on the loyalty of Jews."

"My hope is that we will see Republicans and Democrats stand together united. I think that would have a healing effect," Cruz said.

The second measure set to reach the Senate floor is a bipartisan bill called the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. It was first introduced in 2016 and directs resources from the Education Department's Civil Rights Division to fight anti-Semitism in schools. 
 

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