CLAIM: “Rep. [Ilhan] Omar certainly has made mistakes. She has used anti-Semitic tropes that were clearly and unequivocally condemned by House Democrats when it took place four years ago.”
Why it matters: Jeffries is the House Democratic leader. If power declines to speak the truth, the Washington Free Beacon will speak truth to power. Mainstream journalists, by contrast, are only interested in holding Republican politicians to account.
Context: Omar is one of the most controversial politicians in the country. She might have married her own brother to game the U.S. immigration system. She definitely destroyed a family by stealing her current husband (and top political consultant) away from his ex-wife and teenaged son. She is, above all, a notorious anti-Semite.
• She supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, an anti-Semitic campaign to economically cripple the Jewish state of Israel.
• She has accused the Jewish state of Israel of having “hypnotized the world” to cover up its “evil doings,” a common anti-Semitic trope.
• She has repeatedly accused American politicians of dual loyalty to the Jewish state of Israel due to financial motivations, or in her words: “It’s all about the Benjamins.” The Anti-Defamation League condemned Omar for promoting an “ugly conspiracy theory.”
• She has suggested Jewish Democrats are not “equally engaged in seeking justice around the world” because of their allegiance to the Jewish state of Israel. In response, 12 Jewish Democrats denounced Omar’s remarks as “offensive” and “misguided.”
• She was named Anti-Semite of the Year in 2019 by StopAntiSemitism.org.
Analysis: It’s true that House Democratic leaders have condemned Omar in the past for engaging in deeply offensive anti-Semitic tropes. Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has also defended Omar’s anti-Semitism by suggesting the congresswoman “has a different experience in the use of words and doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning.”
Many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders, defended Omar against charges of anti-Semitism. In March 2019, House Democrats were prepared to introduce a resolution that condemned anti-Semitism but did not specifically mention Omar.
Because the Democratic Party is divided as to whether condemning anti-Semitism outright advances “white supremacy,” in the words of Omar’s fellow Squad member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), the resolution was broadened to condemn “all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white supremacy.”
Former Rep. Elliot Engels (D., N.Y.), who is Jewish, said he was “very disappointed” by his party’s refusal to pass a “separate resolution to specifically condemn anti-Semitism” and Omar’s “hateful” remarks.