Rabbis plea for GOP-led House to remove Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

With a new Republican-controlled House, a contingent of Jewish rabbis are pleading for the House of Representatives to finally remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the Foreign Affairs Committee for her controversial flurry of anti-Semitic comments in years past, according to yesterday’s report from The Daily Wire.

The news comes as a few Republicans have signaled that they may not vote to remove Omar from her position, leaving a slim possibility that she could retain her role. While McCarthy was able to unilaterally remove Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell (Calif.) and Adam Shiff (Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee he must rely on a vote to remove Omar from her position.

The rabbis, numbering over 2,000, presented their request in writing to both Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, saying,

On three separate occasions, we wrote to the previous Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to make this same request. We were ignored all three times, while antisemitic hate crimes became ever more common in this country. Upon learning of the appointment of Rep. Omar to the Foreign Affairs committee, we wrote to express our ‘alarm, dismay and outrage,’ given that even before her election to Congress, Ms. Omar had repeatedly used antisemitic tropes….We believe that to remove Rep. Omar from the Foreign Affairs committee is the only morally responsible choice for a Member of Congress who opposes racism, bigotry, and antisemitism. We implore each and every member to demonstrate their concern for all of America’s minorities, by acting against hatred directed against those most frequently targeted.

One of the rabbi’s complaints come from a comment Omar made in 2019, where she said McCarthy’s defense of Israel and subsequent condemnation of Omar’s criticism of Israel was “all about the Benjamins.” Omar issued an apology after she received swift blowback from her statement.

Omar also was recently interviewed on CNN, where host Dana Bash reminded her of some of her previous usage of blatant anti-Semitic language.

You said that Israel hypnotized the world. You said Israel is an apartheid regime, that politicians with pro-Israel stance – stances were all about the Benjamins, which you very notably apologized for, that you support the BDS movement, which a lot of people think is rooted in antisemitism, compared the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.

Omar did not deny any of these comments, but instead pleaded ignorance, saying she was not aware how offensive her comments were.

Author’s Biblical Analysis

There is so much for Christians to consider in this report.

First, we see a reminder that we are all called to love our neighbor. Here we see the ramifications of how hateful or thoughtless words directed at a group of people can cause widespread hurt and damage. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbors and speak kindly about them, even if we hold conflicting beliefs.

Beyond this, there is no place for racial prejudice or hatred in the body of Christ. Jesus loves people of every skin tone, heritage, or ethnicity. Those who have put their faith in Christ will one day be worshipping the Lord in heaven amongst the most diverse group of people ever assembled, so it would behoove us to reflect this in our love towards other on earth.

There is also a lesson against hypocrisy. Rep. Omar is part of a political contingent that claims to value tolerance, social and racial justice, and ethnic harmony, yet she has turned her back on that creed with her hateful words against Jews. Jesus directed some of His harshest criticisms against people like this, particularly the Pharisees, who were two-faced hypocrites.

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  – Matthew 23:13-14

Lastly, we see in this lesson a reminder that God will uphold and sustain His people, despite the consistent hatred brought against them throughout history.

Throughout their history, the Jewish people have been bombarded on all sides. First, it was slavery in Egypt, then constant wars with bigger nations during the age of the Judges and the Kingdom Age. Then it was exile in Babylon, then conquering at the hands of Greece and eventually Rome.

In the Middle Ages and early modern world, Jews were hated by Muslims and even some professing Christians, who called them the “murderers of Christ.” And we cannot forget one of the most wicked acts perpetrated against them, the mass murder of millions of Jews at the hands of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Even after the Jews have returned to their ancient homeland, there are many today who would be in favor of sending them into exile once more.

Yet through it all, Jewish people are still on the earth. God has been faithful to the Jewish people.

But for Christians, there is a wonderful part to this report that also applies to us. We know that, through Christ, both Jews and Gentiles can be grafted into the family of God. We see that the people of God are no longer an ethnic tribe, but are now any who call on the name of Jesus Christ, from every people and tribe and nation and tongue (Revelation 21).

Christ has, in his death and resurrection, destroyed the dividing wall of hostility. Most importantly, He has made us, who once were enemies of God, now His friends.

Believer, be encouraged that God will be faithful to His people. If you trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, that includes you.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  – Romans 1:17