- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2019

Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs, criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar for her controversial comments accusing pro-Israel groups of bribing American lawmakers.

“Anti-Semitism in any form is unacceptable, and it’s shocking to hear a Member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of ‘Jewish money,’” he wrote in a statement.

Ms. Omar came under a wave of bipartisan backlash after she retweeted a criticism of GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, implying that the Republicans were being bought to support Israel.

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” she said.

In a second tweet, she suggested that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee was responsible for influencing politicians.

Mr. Engel defended the right of committee members to criticize certain practices and countries, but stressed the complaints must be based on policy.

“I fully expect that when we disagree on the Foreign Affairs Committee, we will debate policy on the merits and never question members’ motives or resort to personal attacks,” he said.

The freshman Democrat was appointed to the Foreign Affairs Committee in January.

Mr. Engel recommitted bipartisan support for the U.S.-Israel alliance, and said he would stress the shared values and security that comes with that relationship to members of the committee.

“As I have said, as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I will ensure support for Israel remains strong and bipartisan and I will shine a light on the evil of anti-Semitism and the danger it poses,” Mr. Engel said.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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