Jewish Community Relations Council calls Minnesota congresswoman's tweets 'anti-Semitic'

February 11, 2019 10:12 PM

Steve Hunges, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, called recent Tweets by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar anti-Semitic.

"It is very unfortunate to see this perpetuate centuries-old stereotypes of Jews," Hunges said.  "These can be harmful and sort of pass along these conspiracy theories that Jewish people have all the money and control the world."

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Responding to a tweet from a journalist defending her right to criticize Israel and U.S. support of Isreal, Omar sent out a tweet that read "It's all about the Benjamins, baby."

When another person on Twitter asked Omar to explain who she was implying had paid for American politicians' support of Israel, Omar sent out a tweet that read "AIPAC," which is the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

RELATED: Rep. Omar apologizes for tweets on AIPAC's influence

Hunges said the Tweets, sent out Sunday by Omar, are counterproductive and do not to anything to further what should be "open and fair-minded dialogue" between people who disagree politically.

"This is so fundamental to our democratic society in America," Hunges said.  "We can sit down and talk with each other and be respectful of each other's opinions, even if we disagree and this type of activity on Twitter hurts opportunities to advance our understanding of each other."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement denouncing Omar's statements and asked her to apologize. President Donald Trump told reporters Omar should be embarrassed by her tweets.

Omar did issue an apology Monday and vowed to learn from the experience and better understand damage that can be done with anti-Semitic comments.

Omar's statement said, in part, "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...this is why I unequivocally apologize."

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