Young liberal progressive Democrats support the Minnesota Representative

Representative Ilhan Omar is now under fire from members of her own party. Congressional Democrats are preparing a resolution which will condemn anti-Semitism. The action is a public rebuke, albeit an indirect one, of Omar after she made several remarks concerning Israel which has led to intense criticism. The young Representative has also criticized American supporters of Israel.

This formal condemnation has ignited a heated debate between young and liberal members of the Democratic party and the older House Democrats. The former alleges Omar is unfairly singled out for criticism. The resolution, which will probably be voted on March 7, was drafted when Omar suggested during the last week of February that Israel's American supporters push for allegiance to a certain “foreign country.” Her remark infuriated important Jewish members elected to the House. They say that such a statement is another example of “dual loyalty,” an oft-repeated anti-Semitic trope. It does not help Omar’s case as she continues to speak her mind against Israel. Her continuous criticism against the Jewish nation has attracted both Republican and Democratic scorn. Things have now come to such a pass that both Republican and Democratic party members have initiated competing resolutions against her.

Younger Democrats, however, have closed ranks to support the Minnesota-elected freshman Democrat who is one of the first two Muslim women sent to Congress. Representative Rashida Tlaib is the other. Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, told senior ranked Democrats the upcoming resolution would also be inclusive of anti-Muslim bias condemnation. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has advocated this move.

It is clear the issue of Rep. Omar has brought to the fore a division within the Democratic party. Jewish Democrats like Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Eliot L. Engel, and Nita M. Lowey are sure to vote against her. Younger members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the elected New York Democrat, will support her along with other liberal groups like IfNotNow and Justice Democrats. This is a serious development as the Minnesota representative is quickly becoming the face of generational and ideological divide in the party. The rift between the older members and the young progressive ones has only increased during the last few days. There is also the possibility of this debate swamping the party’s other agendas.


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