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A Jewish Democratic group is pushing back on claims that it goes soft on anti-Semitic congresswoman Ilhan Omar, pointing to a single press release from more than two years ago that criticized the Minnesota Democrat for accusing American Jews of buying support for Israel.
Through its lawyer, the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) threatened legal action against the Republican Jewish Coalition for writing in a July 21 tweet that it never criticizes Omar. In a July letter, the JDCA cited its quick condemnation of Omar after she tweeted in 2019 that American support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins baby.”
“Enough is enough with the anti-Semitic tropes,” the council said hours after her tweet, which Omar deleted. The lawyers for JDCA said the one condemnation of Omar makes the RJC’s statement false and added that it is “severely injurious” to the JDCA’s reputation.
The JDCA’s defense is an example of how Democrats are grappling with far-left members of their party, including Omar, who has grown increasingly hostile towards Israel. While the council condemned Omar over two years ago, its letter fails to include any other instances of criticisms of Omar, who has engaged in anti-Semitic rhetoric in several instances.
In June 2021, Omar compared America and Israel to terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Taliban and attacked her Jewish Democratic colleagues who “haven’t been partners in justice.” A month earlier, Omar accused Israel of “terrorism.”
Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican coalition, said that JDCA lawyers pointing to only one example of the group condemning Omar suggests that the organization prioritizes party loyalty over fighting anti-Semitism.
“Rather than cite a litany of times the JDCA spoke out against antisemitism from Ilhan Omar and other leading Democrats, they only point to one time over 2.5 years ago,” Brooks told the Washington Free Beacon. “It’s disappointing that the Jewish Dems would repeatedly choose silence over action. It’s time to put the fight against antisemitism ahead of partisan politics.”
In a letter obtained by the Free Beacon, the Republican Jewish Coalition said it would not delete the tweet, and said it “will not be silenced” by the JDCA.
“The [Republican Jewish Coalition’s] Tweet is in the nature of protected political speech and hyperbole,” the coalition’s lawyer wrote. “It posed a rhetorical question that could have been answered simply that the JDCA did condemn such antisemitism in February 2019.”
The JDCA did not respond to a request for comment.