Special midweek update – responding to Rep. Omar

March 5, 2019


In recent days, we have seen a deeply disappointing trend from Representative Ilhan Omar – that of the repeat offense. When someone does something offensive and apologizes for it, we try to keep an open mind. When they do it again, and again, however, there is little reason to believe the offense is anything other than intentional, and that the apology is insincere. That is how we view Rep. Omar’s repeated use of anti-Semitic tropes in recent weeks – it’s unacceptable, appears to be a disturbing pattern, and we denounce it in the strongest possible terms.

JDCA has come out in strong support of the House resolution introduced by Democrats – to be voted on tomorrow – rejecting anti-Semitism as a form of intolerance contradictory to American values. We have called on all members of Congress to support this important resolution and denounced Rep. Omar’s recent statement perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes as “unacceptable and incendiary.” JDCA asserted, “Her constituents and the American people deserve better, and we are deeply disappointed such comments have continued despite Rep. Omar’s previous apology.”

Read our full statement below, as well as an op-ed published by Minneapolis-based JDCA Board member Beth Kieffer Leonard, which details the response among Minnesotans to Rep. Omar’s record on both Israel and anti-Semitism. Finally, watch Executive Director Halie Soifer’s recent television interview on Israeli station i24 News regarding this issue.

In case you missed it…

JDCA had a great week last week, summarized below.

  • Last week, JDCA hosted nearly 30 members of Congress on the Hill, including Senate Minority Leader Schumer and House Majority Leader Hoyer. Speakers also included Senator Rosen, Congresswoman Slotkin, and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro.
  • JDCA hosted a meeting with the Jewish House Members to discuss anti-Semitism and other pressing issues on the Hill. The meeting included Chairmen Schiff, Engel and Nadler, among others.
  • JDCA hosted a seminar on Israel with former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and Washington Institute for Near East Policy senior fellow Dana Stroul.
  • JDCA shared its advocacy agenda for the 116th Congress.

We look forward to connecting with you again on Friday, and encourage you to support JDCA today. Also, please follow us on Instagram @JewishDems, our newest social media platform.
Thank you for your support,

Ron Klein
Chair, Jewish Democratic Council of America

Halie Soifer
Executive Director, Jewish Democratic Council of America