US lawmaker aplogises over Israel tweet | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 13, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, February 13, 2019

ANTI-SEMITISM ROW

US lawmaker aplogises over Israel tweet

Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in the US Congress, "unequivocally" apologised Monday after suggesting US support for Israel is fueled by money from a pro-Israel lobby group.

The Minnesota freshman has faced criticism for weeks over her positions on the Jewish state, but it boiled over late Sunday after she reacted to a Republican critic in a tweet.

"It's all about the Benjamins baby," Omar replied, referring to American $100 bills featuring the likeness of Benjamin Franklin.

When a user asked who Omar believes is paying US politicians to support Israel, the former Somali refugee tweeted a one-word response -- "AIPAC!" -- referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The exchanges triggered an uproar, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi castigating Omar and demanding an "immediate" apology for using "anti-Semitic tropes" in her tweet, and several Democrats and Republicans assailing their colleague for her language.

Omar obliged, issuing a statement acknowledging that anti-Semitism is "real" and expressing gratitude to colleagues "who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes."

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