Foreign Affairs

Ilhan Omar ousted from Foreign affairs panel, know why?

Ilhan Omar ousted: The republican led House voted after debates to remove Ilhan Omar from the foreign affairs panel

Ilhan Omar ousted: In a move seen by her party leaders as retaliation for their earlier expulsion of far-right Republicans, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to oust Ilhan Omar from a central committee over anti-Semitic remarks.

Omar’s earlier comments towards Israel, some of which have been labelled as antisemitic by members of both parties, have led House Republicans to suggest that she shouldn’t sit on the committee.

Omar was criticised in 2019 by both sides of the political spectrum for remarks she made in a town hall and for heated Twitter responses.

Omar asserted that Israel needs “allegiance” from American lawmakers, adding that “a lot of our Jewish colleagues, a lot of our constituents, a lot of our allies, (think) that everything we say about Israel (is) anti-Semitic because we are Muslim.”

The remarks made by Omar were criticised. “The charge of dual loyalty not only raises the ominous spectre of classic anti-Semitism, it is also deeply insulting to the millions upon millions of patriotic Americans, Jewish and non-Jewish, who stand by our democratic ally, Israel,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said in a statement.

Democrats have condemned the effort to remove Omar, saying it amounts to political vengeance and that the Minnesota Democrat has been held accountable for her last remark.

The vote in the Republican-controlled House, which was elected last year, was 218 to 211, along party lines.

She had the full support of the Democratic Party’s leadership and members.

Voting her off the panel, according to fellow Democrat and Progressive Caucus leader Pramila Jayapal, who is also unfavourable of India, was an attempt by the Republicans to stifle her “strong and necessary voice” and an act of revenge.

We didn’t come to Congress to be silent, a defiant Omar declared, adding that despite being removed, “my voice will get louder and stronger.”

“I am a Muslim, I’m an immigrant, and, interestingly, I’m from Africa,” the 40-year-old Minnesota progressive said in a defiant floor speech ahead of her removal from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to oust a controversial Senator, Ilhan Omar.

“I am an American,” Omar, who had been on Foreign Affairs since she arrived on Capitol Hill in 2019, said in her floor speech.

“An American who was sent here by her constituents to represent them in Congress,” she continued. “A refugee who survived the horrors of a civil war. Someone who spent her childhood in a refugee camp. Someone who knows what it means to have a shot at a better life here in the United States. And someone who believes in the American dream and the American possibility and the promise and the ability to participate in the democratic process.”

“Is anyone surprised that I’m being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy?”

She also shared a message of a man sending her a death threat and accused Republicans of making her a target of such threats.

The audio comes as House Republicans plan to vote to remove her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee

Ms Omar tweeted the audio of a voice message sent to her office. “This is one example of a death threat that came into my office this week,” she said.

She submitted a resolution in Congress in June of last year to condemn India for what she called “human rights atrocities and violations of international religious freedom,” two months after travelling to Pakistan and the region of Kashmir it controls.

Read more- Despite Ban, BBC Documentary Screened in several universities in India

Twelve Democrats supported that proposal, but it was never even put to the vote.

The vote, which was mainly along party lines, occurred after Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in Congress, stayed true to his campaign promise to deny seats on the famous Intelligence Committee to Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, the panel’s previous Democratic chairman.

McCarthy claims that when Democrats were in power, they established a “new norm” by removing Republicans Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees after they incited violence against political opponents.

McCarthy shared his clip on Twitter, speaking upon Ilhan Omar’s past statements, make it clear she is unfit to represent the U.S. on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. – She repeatedly used anti-semitic tropes – She described 9/11 by saying “some people did something” – She compared America and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.

Omar, one of only two Muslim women in Congress, offered an apology in 2019 for implying that contributions from an Israeli lobby organisation funded Republican support for Israel.

The Democrats, who were in control of the House then, debated backing a motion to censure her but ultimately decided on language denouncing anti-Semitism that did not specifically target her.

Before being elected to Congress five years prior, she claimed that Israel had “hypnotised the world” and urged people to recognise the “evil doings” of the U.S. ally.

She has now claimed that she was ignorant of the anti-Semitic stereotypes that associate Jews with hypnosis and Israelis hypnotising people at the time of her comments.

Read More- BBC Documentary on PM Modi Sparks Controversy, MEA calls it propaganda

Ilhan Omar’s mention of militant Islamist groups Hamas and the Taliban in the same breath as the U.S. and Israel rankled some of her fellow Democrats.

“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” wrote the group, led by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler

Before the vote, House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries stated that Omar’s remarks had already been addressed at a news conference.

“So this is not about accountability. It’s about political revenge,” said Hakeem Jeffries.

NIAC stands with Ilham Omar

In 2021, the Democrats voted to punish Greene for making inflammatory remarks, including several times supporting the execution of famous Democrats, with a small number of Republicans voting in support. Gosar faced criticism after he uploaded an animated clip that was doctored to portray him killing a left-wing congresswoman.

Both have spoken at meetings of white nationalists, and Greene later expressed regret for equating the prohibition of masks in the U.S. Capitol with the Holocaust. After Republicans regained control of the House last month, the two received committee assignments.

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