(Washington) The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a motion to oust Democrat MP Ilhan Omar from a powerful committee, Republicans accusing him of making anti-Semitic remarks in the past, while Democrats say the decision comes in retaliation for other expulsions during the previous legislature.
Ilhan Omar is the third elected Democrat to be stripped of her parliamentary committee seat by Republicans this year. Stripped of her role on the Foreign Affairs Committee, this former refugee from Somalia is accused of having made several comments critical of Israel since 2012 – remarks condemned within both parties.
“I am Muslim, I am an immigrant and, coincidentally, I come from Africa”, declared the elected representative of the left wing of the party, during a speech in the hemicycle of Congress, before the vote. , asking if “anyone was surprised” that she was being targeted.
The expulsion of certain elected Democrats from parliamentary committees was a promise made by Kevin McCarthy during his campaign to become the new “speaker” of the House of Representatives.
According to the Republican, Democrats created a “new normal” when they had control of Congress by expelling the highly controversial Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from certain committees, accusing them of calling for violence against their political opponents.
Ilhan Omar, one of two Muslim women in Congress, apologized in 2019 after suggesting that Republican support for Israel was fueled by financial donations from a pro-Israel lobby.
Five years earlier, before entering Congress, she claimed that Israel had “hypnotized the world”, and asked that people open their eyes to the “misdeeds” of the ally of the United States.
The elected official from Minnesota (northern United States) has since declared that she was not aware at the time that her remarks played on anti-Semitic stereotypes, in particular those linking Jews to money.
According to House Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Ilhan Omar’s remarks had already been subject to proper disciplinary proceedings.
“It’s political revenge,” he said.