- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence slammed Rep. Ilhan Omar and Democrats who are distancing themselves from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Addressing AIPAC’s policy conference Monday, the vice president criticized how Democrats have addressed allegations of anti-Semitism leveled at their own members.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in the Congress of the United States of America,” he said to a cheering crowd.

Without mentioning her by name, Mr. Pence took particular aim at freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has been caught in several controversies involving anti-Semitic comments made on social media.

Most recently, Ms. Omar suggested that Rep. Nita Lowey, a Jewish Democratic lawmaker, had an allegiance Israel, which prompted party leadership to bring an anti-hate resolution to a vote on the House floor last month.

Ms. Omar also directly criticized AIPAC, suggesting that it and other pro-Israel lobbyists bribe U.S. lawmakers with campaign contributions.

A vocal critic of the Israeli government, Ms. Omar has defended her comments as legitimate criticism of a foreign government and a powerful lobby group.

Mr. Pence said Ms. Omar’s stance calls for her removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a move that Congressional Republicans have clamored for since February.

“At a minimum, anyone who slanders those who support this historic alliance between the United States and Israel should never have a seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States’ House of Representatives,” Mr. Pence said.

Mr. Pence’s speech came as several Democratic 2020 candidates are skipping the AIPAC conference — though several have addressed AIPAC in years past — after progressive activists called for a boycott.

“Anyone who aspires to the highest office in the land should not be afraid to stand with the strongest supporters of Israel in America,” the vice president said. “It is wrong to boycott Israel and it is wrong to boycott AIPAC.”

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