Jewish Democrat Who Criticized Ilhan Omar Says Republicans Are Hypocrites on anti-Semitism

Congressman Max Rose says Republicans 'can't be chickenshit' on anti-Semitism, should denounce it like Democrats denounced Omar's statements

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Democratic Congressman Max Rose campaigning in Staten Island, New York, November 7, 2018.
Democratic Congressman Max Rose campaigning in Staten Island, New York, November 7, 2018.Credit: Reuters
Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon

WASHINGTON – Congressman Max Rose, a Democrat from New York, accused Republicans in Congress on Tuesday evening of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism within their own party's ranks.

Rose, a Jewish combat veteran and one of the first Democrats who criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar's tweets on the pro-Israel lobby on Monday, said that Republicans "can't be chickenshit" on anti-Semitism, and should denounce it just like members of his own party denounced Omar's statements.

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As an example, Rose mentioned a tweet by Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy during the 2018 midterm elections, in which McCarthy accused three Jewish billionaires – George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer – of trying to "buy the election." McCarthy deleted the tweet after receiving backlash over the fact that a right-wing extremist sent a bomb to Soros' home.

"Republicans were united and had his back," Rose said. He also criticized media coverage of McCarthy's tweet, saying "none of you called him out. There is some hypocrisy going on."

Earlier Tuesday, Rose released a statement criticizing Omar, in which he wrote: "Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive." He added that "Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself."

Omar had tweeted that U.S. support for Israel is "all about the Benjamins," referring to $100 bills, and suggested that AIPAC money is behind U.S.-Israel relations. She issued an apology on Monday evening after receiving criticism from members of Congress and other influential figures in the party.

"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," the freshman congresswoman wrote. "My intention is never to offend my constitutents or Jewish Americans as a whole." 

"At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics," she qualified, "whether it be AIPAC, the NRA, or the fossil fuel industry."  

After Omar tweeted her apology, U.S. President Donald Trump responded that it was insufficient. "She should be ashamed of herself," he said while aboard a flight to a rally in Texas. "I think it was a terrible statement and I don’t think her apology was adequate."

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