WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is “confident” Rep. Ilhan Omar was not motivated by anti-Semitic sentiment when she made comments that seemed to question the loyalty of Americans who support Israel.
“I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude but that she didn’t have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people where these words have a history and a cultural impact that might have been unknown to her,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a news conference on Thursday.
Today the House is expected to vote on a resolution that condemns anti-Semitism.
The lower chamber had been scheduled to take up the resolution on Wednesday.
The delay was caused by a feud between pro-Israel Democrats and more progressive members of the party over whether the resolution should mention Omar by name and if it should be expanded to denounce other forms of bigotry.
Pelosi said Omar will not be named in the text and that the resolution will include denunciations of racism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate.
On Feb. 13 the House passed a resolution that condemned anti-Semitism after Omar made similar remarks. That resolution also did not contain any reference to the congresswoman.
President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers have called for Omar to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Chairman Elliot Engel (D-N.Y) has said he does not want to strip Omar of her committee assignment. Engel is Jewish and is considered one of the most pro-Israel members of Congress. He strongly condemned Omar’s remarks and demanded an apology.
Omar has maintained that her comments were not anti-Semitic and that criticism of Israeli settlement policies should not be considered as such. She has yet to apologize for the latest remarks, although she did apologize for her previous comments.