Ocasio-Cortez: Backlash on Omar 'came down a little too hard'

Ocasio-Cortez: Backlash on Omar 'came down a little too hard'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez, Thunberg, Rapinoe make BBC's 100 most inspiring women of 2019 Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorses Biden Democratic strategist on Sanders debate performance: 'I just think he might've topped out' MORE (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that the backlash surrounding Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarKrystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey endorses Biden Democratic strategist on Sanders debate performance: 'I just think he might've topped out' MORE's (D-Minn.) comments about Israel "came down on her a little too hard."

Ocasio-Cortez, who has questioned the severity of the response to Omar's comments that prompted allegations of anti-Semitism, told CNN that she believes the fallout from her fellow freshman lawmaker's remarks has been a "learning experience."

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"I think it’s a learning experience, and it’s part of the fact that when we elect the most diverse Democratic caucus that we have in pretty much ever, it means that we have new communities at the table, new conversations that need to be had, and we have to learn how to have conversations differently every time," the New York Democrat said.

"So I think it’s just part of a learning process that we have as a country, frankly," she added.

The House is expected to vote Thursday afternoon on a resolution broadly condemning hate in the wake of Omar’s critical comments about Israel.

The resolution, which does not mention Omar by name, states that the House "rejects the perpetuation of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the United States and around the world, including the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, especially in the context of support for the United States-Israel alliance."

Omar has been at the center of controversy in recent weeks for comments questioning the Israel-U.S. relationship that critics said have invoked anti-Semitic tropes.

The congresswoman was widely criticized last month for suggesting U.S. lawmakers supported Israel because of money from a pro-Israel lobbying group, tweeting "it's all about the Benjamins." She later apologized for the comments.

Omar reignited controversy when said at a Washington bookstore forum last week that pro-Israel advocates pushed "allegiance to a foreign country." The comments have drawn bipartisan backlash, but Omar has defended her right to question the U.S.-Israel relationship.