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Omar's comments not from 'anti-Semitic attitude': Pelosi

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 2 weeks ago - Duration: 01:01s

Omar's comments not from 'anti-Semitic attitude': Pelosi

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday she believes recent controversial words by Democratic lawmaker Ilhan Omar were 'not based on any anti-Semitic attitude' and that the House was working on an anti-hate resolution that was not about Omar.

Last month, Omar came under fire when she said at a Washington bookstore that Israel's 'political influence' leads people to 'push for allegiance to a foreign country'.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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Omar's comments not from 'anti-Semitic attitude': Pelosi

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that she believed the controversial words by Democratic lawmaker Ilhan Omar were 'not based on any anti-Semitic attitude' and that the House was working on an anti-hate resolution that was not about Omar.

Pelosi said the resolution would speak out against forms of hatred including 'anti-Semitism, anti-Islamphobia, anti-white supremacy and all the forms that it takes'.

"That's what we're working on something that is one resolution addressing these forms of hatred, not mentioning her name, because it's not about her, it's about these forms of hatred " Pelosi said.

Pelosi said she does not believe that Omar understands the 'full weight' of her words and that Omar's comments were 'not based on any anti-Semitic attitude." Last month, Omar came under fire after she said that Israel's 'political influence' leads people to 'push for allegiance to a foreign country', during a discussion at a Washington bookstore about how critics have labeled her criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic.

Last month, Democratic lawmaker Ilhan Omar apologized after party leaders condemned her comments about the pro-Israel lobby in the United States as using anti-Semitic stereotypes.

"Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes," Omar, who was elected for the first time to the U.S. House of Representatives in November, said in a statement.

"My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole," she said, adding that she "unequivocally" apologized.

Omar was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for saying on Twitter that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, was paying U.S. politicians to support Israel.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic House leaders condemned her remarks last month, calling for an apology and saying anti-Semitism must be confronted and condemned.

"Legitimate criticism of Israel's policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share," they said.

"But Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive." Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, said on Twitter, "Rep.

Omar's use of anti-Semitic stereotype was offensive and irresponsible." President Donald Trump later criticized Omar's remarks and said her apology fell short.

"I think she should be ashamed of herself.

I think it was a terrible statement.

And I don't think her apology was adequate," Trump told reporters en route to El Paso for a speech to press his case for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump later said that he believed Omar should resign over her comments.

Even before her most recent comments, Republicans had criticized Democrats for appointing Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and called for her to be removed from her seat because of past statements critical of Israel.

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