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Eliot Engel Fails to Follow Through on Removing Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee for Anti-Semitic Remarks

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said Tuesday that he is not prepared to publicly repudiate Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for her latest set of vehemently anti-Semitic remarks, according to a Fox News report.

Omar has faced a backlash for her obviously anti-Jewish tweets that date back to 2012, when she claimed that Israel had “hypnotized the world.”

Edited by: JV Staff

In February, she tweeted that supporters of Israel have been bought, and that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) contributes to pro-Israel politicians despite the fact that the group does not make campaign contributions. The freshman congresswoman then accused Israel supporters of swearing “allegiance” to the Jewish state, according to the Fox News report.

Amid bipartisan condemnation, there have been growing calls for Omar to be summarily removed from her position on the House Foreign Affairs committee. Omar’s detractors have pointed to the recent case of Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa who lost his committee roles by the House GOP leadership over remarks that were interpreted as racist.

As of now, Engel is stopping short of insisting that any punitive measures be taken against Omar. Sources who had formerly worked in the Democratic machine have speculated that undue pressure was put on Engel not to follow through with his promise to have Omar removed from the House committee as the core leadership of the party knows that a very large percentage of young Democrats will be voting in 2020 and it is they who wholeheartedly support Ohan, Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez.

“The entire face of the Democratic party has changed and it has changed quite radically. Omar and AOC and others of that ilk are now the “FACE” of the party and the last thing that folks like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer want are those potential voters feeling alienated. If they feel that way, there is a very good chance that they will vote for a 3rd party candidate, should there be one,” said the source.
Sounding like he had swallowed the left-liberal message that the Democratic party leadership is attempting to convey, when asked on Tuesday night if he thought that Omar was an anti-Semite, Engel responded that he doesn’t “throw names around.”

“I think the remarks she’s made have been very troubling. I have spoken out very publicly and forcefully about it in saying she should apologize,” Engel told CNN’s Erin Burnett, according to a Fox News report. “Look, you hope that people who get elected to office and they grow. I would hope the same thing would happen to her, but I’m not going to sit silent as long as there are people who are yelling out anti-Semitic tropes or anti-anything tropes, by the way. I’m opposed to Islamophobia. I’m opposed to hatred of any group.”

“I’m hoping that she’ll grow and she’ll change. I’m hoping. Some people change their beliefs, I’m hoping she’ll change hers,” Engel continued, downplaying accusations of anti-Semitism. “I think what she said was wrong and hurtful. I think she should understand that.”
“At what point do you say to her, Congresswoman Omar, ‘Look, you’re not on this committee anymore.’ You strip her of her seat.” Burnett asked if Engel was close to that.

“No, I’m not close to it,” Engel firmly answered. “First of all, it’s not up to me, this is done by the leadership. I don’t know that that would do anything except exacerbate the situation even more. I’m looking to get rid of anti-Semitism, not looking to punish anybody.”

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