Omar controversy has not shifted Jews away from Dem Party, left-leaning Jewish advocate says

The executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Halie Soifer, told Hill.TV’s “What America’s Thinking” on Wednesday that recent remarks from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), which some have called anti-Semitic, have not signaled a shift among Jews away from the Democratic Party. 

“Absolutely not,” Soifer told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons when asked if Omar’s comments were proof of a Democratic drift away from Jewish voters and support for Israel. 

“What we’ve seen in recent months has been select incidents, and Representative Omar is one such example, where we’ve had elected officials that were criticizing Israel, but invoked anti-Semitic, negative stereotypes about Jews, and we’ve called that out,” she continued. 

Omar sparked outrage for recent comments that critics said relied on anti-Semitic tropes — first for suggesting that politicians who support Israel do so for financial reasons and then for suggesting that lobbyists are pushing “allegiance to a foreign country,” with regard to Israel.

Her comments prompted a vote on a resolution in the House condemning anti-Semitism, though the final version ultimately condemned other forms of hate speech as well. 

“What we saw the Democratic leadership do in recent weeks was actually unify the whole caucus behind a resolution that rejected such tropes as a form of anti-Semitism, but also rejected all forms of intolerance, including Islamophobia,” Soifer said. “All Democrats voted for that resolution, and 23 Republicans voted against.”

— Julia Manchester