Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended fellow freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar from what she described as a disproportionate backlash as the House prepares to vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in wake of Ms. Omar’s recent comments about Israel.
The House will reportedly vote as soon as Wednesday on a resolution put forth by several Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, that condemns the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes, including “the myth of dual loyalty.” The resolution does not explicitly mention Ms. Omar, Minnesota Democrat, but she is accused of perpetuating the dual loyalty trope in comments she made last week about Israel-supporting lawmakers holding “allegiance to a foreign country.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat and friend of Ms. Omar, lamented on Twitter Tuesday that “no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities.”
“It’s not my position to tell people how to feel, or that their hurt is invalid,” she wrote. “But incidents like these do beg the question: where are the resolutions against homophobic statements? For anti-blackness? For xenophobia? For a member saying he’ll ‘send Obama home to Kenya?’
“In this administration + all others, we should actively check antisemitism, anti-blackness, homophobia, racism, and all other forms of bigotry,” she continued. “And the most productive end goal when we see it is to educate and heal. It’s the difference btwn ‘calling in’ before ‘calling out.’
“‘Calling out’ is one of the measures of last resort, not 1st or 2nd resort. We do it when repeated attempts to ‘call in’ are disrespected or ignored,” she explained. “And I believe that Ilhan, in her statement a few weeks ago, has demonstrated a willingness to listen+work w/impacted communities.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was referring to a separate anti-Semitism controversy that Ms. Omar apologized for last month after pressure from Democrats. Ms. Omar has chosen to defend her most recent controversial remarks, arguing that she is only criticizing the Israeli government, not the Israeli people.
In her tweets Tuesday, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez asked whether House leadership was prepared to set a new standard for condemning bigotry in all forms instead of just anti-Semitism.
“If we called resolutions on sexist statements, a good chunk of Congress would be gone,” she argued. “To jump to the nuclear option every time leaves no room for corrective action. So I ask *everyone* that we practice calling in before calling out.
“If House leadership is creating a standard & committing to calling a resolution for every incident - whether it’s the Congressional Black Caucus, CHC, etc, then thats a clear way to address the issue & we can all understand,” she concluded.