A resolution vote was aimed at Ilhan Omar, a Muslim-American progressive lawmaker, over her criticism of Israel.
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In Washington, DC, Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, is leading a motion to block Ilhan Omar, a Congresswoman serving in the chamber’s Foreign Affairs Committee, over her past remarks on Israel.
In the House of Representatives on Wednesday, a resolution was passed to remove Ilhan Omar from the panel. The Democrats are accusing McCarty and opposed the move for targeting the politician who is a former refugee of Somali descent and only among the two Muslim women serving in the US Congress.
Many Republicans have initially criticized the move casting doubt over McCarty’s expertise to pass the resolution, given the narrow majority of GOP in the House.
This Wednesday, the Republicans with a majority of 218, firmly moved forward with the effort,
While the Democrats remained united in support of Omar with 209 votes. The final vote will be expected on Thursday as the Republicans rally around Omar.
On Monday, Pramila Jayapal brought a statement that said, “ This is both ludicrous and dangerous to remove someone a Member of Congress from a committee because you simply don’t agree with their views.”
The Controversy around the resolution
On Tuesday, Max Miller, an Ohio Republican introduced a resolution aimed at Omar, which cites numerous controversies involving the congresswoman’s remarks on being critical of Israel and the US foreign policy.
Miller added, “Given her critical biases against the state of Israel and the Jewish people, Congresswoman Omar cannot be a fair decision-maker on the Foreign Affairs Committee.”
In response Omar said nothing fair enough about the resolution, adding “No one should be on the committee if fairness is the reason not to serve on the committees.”
The Republican resolution blames Omar for anti-Semitism; it clearly makes remarks about Israel, not the Jewish people.
The effort calls out Omar for describing Israel as an “apartheid racist state.” Numerous renowned human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have condemned Israel for the imposition of an apartheid system on the Palestinians.
In 2019, Omar suggested that political donations from pro-Israel lobby groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, were leading to Israeli influence in Washington.
She later apologized for the accusations, but the advocates of Palestinian rights say that such accusations stifle the debate against Israel’s critics around the policies of the Israeli government.
In the past two years, the pro-Israel organizations and AIPAC have been involved in anti-democratic activities, spending millions of dollars in defeating the Palestinian human rights supporters in the Congressional elections, which includes Andy Levin, a Jewish left-wing, a former member of the House.
Accusations of “Duel Standards”
Although Omar has been backed by the Democratic Party, the Republican resolution points out the previous criticisms leveled against the congresswoman by top Democrats.
The Republicans are trying to validate their arguments by using previous actions and statements of Democrats against Omar. said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation of Middle East Peace.
Further adding, she said, “They have made a decision to score political points against Ilhan at the very last moment that accounted for the basis of the resolution now and to throw her off the panel.”
Omar, along with her fellow Muslim-American Congresswoman Rashida, has often been accused of having “duel standards” when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict issue arises.
Both the Congresswomen were subject to allegations related to racism. In 2019, former President Donald Trump tweeted about their skin color, and wrote “should go back to the crime-infested places which they came from.”
She became a frequent target of Trump’s anti-refugee rhetoric in the 2020 elections. At one rally in 2019, Trump failed to intervene when his supporters chanted “send her back”, referring to Omar.
Ilhan Omar has always been a prominent human rights supporter and diplomat in Congress. She criticizes other countries even the ones in the Middle East, but her comments on Israel make the headlines.
On Monday, Sara Haghdoosti director of the Win Without War said, “She has constantly advocated for cuts to the Pentagon budget, had been vocal in raising the menace of Islamophobia and racism in the US foreign policy, she held US allies accountable for abuse of Human Rights.
The Committee War
The Congress aligned with the House Foreign Affairs Committee serves as a microcosm for the House. The panels hold immense power in the legislative process by guiding and overseeing the legislation process regarding foreign policies.
The Committee constitutes members of the ruling party, and the opposition gives names of its legislators in the panels.
In 2021, Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was voted for removal by the Democrats from her assigned committee on the remarks of making Islamophobic and anti-Sementic comments.
Now, she is an outspoken proponent of Omar’s removal from the committee of Foreign Affairs.
In a series of moves, Democrats Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell were stripped from joining the intelligence committee. Schiff earlier served as chair of the panel.
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