All Israel

Ilhan Omar to lose seat on Foreign Affairs Committee

McCarthy makes good on promise to oust “anti-American,” “anti-Semitic” lawmaker

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (Photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia license CC BY-SA 2.0)

It appears that U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar – the Democrat from Minnesota – is about to lose her seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Calling her “anti-American” and “anti-Semitic,” U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had vowed in 2021 to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee if the Republicans gained a majority in the House. Now that they have, he is making good on that vow while also preventing Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., from sitting on the House Intelligence Committee.

“I promised you last year that as speaker she would no longer be on Foreign Affairs, and I’m keeping that promise,” McCarthy told the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Israeli-Arab activist Yoseph Haddad lauded the effort to remove Omar from the committee. 

“Rep @IlhanMN will finally be kicked off the US Foreign Affairs Committee for her anti-Israel bias thanks to the new Speaker of the House,” he said on Twitter. “Any member of Congress who actively fights against the US-Israel relationship should not be on that committee.”

The lawmaker, who was born in Somalia, said in an interview with MSNBC that it would be hypocritical to remove “the first African born on subcommittee on Africa on the Foreign Affairs Committee, where I’ve had the opportunity to not only represent my constituents but the voice of so many people who have never had a voice on the Foreign Affairs Committee.”

Her office referred Fox News to a statement she made in November: "McCarthy’s effort to repeatedly single me out for scorn and hatred – including threatening to strip me from my committee – does nothing to address the issues our constituents deal with. It does nothing to address inflation, healthcare, or solve the climate crisis."

In 2021, Omar appeared to equate Israel and the U.S. with the Taliban. She has also been castigated for her anti-Israel positions and been accused of anti-Semitic comments both as a congresswomen and before.

In 2012, Omar tweeted that Israel “hypnotized” the world. She once retweeted a journalist who is critical of Israel and added the comment: “It’s stunning how much time U.S. political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

Another time she wrote on Twitter: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” in reference to the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.

In 2019, Israel barred entry to Omar and fellow Muslim congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, over their support for BDS and their anti-Israel statements.

In 2021, Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer called her “a reckless congresswoman whose judgment is awful.”

“Ilhan Omar continues to say these things,” Fleischer said. “The fundamental problem is you really have a member of Congress whose ideas are the antithesis of democracies defending themselves.”

Omar is part of “the squad” – a group of progressive politicians in Congress – and a growing number of Democrats who are forsaking America’s traditional bipartisan support of Israel.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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