Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Wednesday the “dark wave of anti-Semitism rising in Europe and the United States” and urged countries to stand against bigotry.
“Our challenge is especially urgent as the hot rhetoric of prejudice cloaks itself in the language of the academy or diplomacy or public policy,” he noted while visiting Jerusalem. “Sadly, we in the United States have seen anti-Semitic language uttered even in the great halls of our own Capitol. This should not be,” Pompeo added, likely referring to recent comments made by Representative Ilhan Omar.
Several weeks ago, Omar suggested in her remarks that Republican support of Israel is fueled by donations from a prominent pro-Israel group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Her comments were interpreted as anti-Semitic and she later apologized, CNN writes.
“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. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize,” Omar said in February.
The House later passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination in the wake of the controversy.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy caused a similar controversy in October 2018 when he accused billionaire Democratic donors of trying to “buy” the midterm elections.
“We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA,” he tweeted back then.
Pompeo, standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that “all nations, especially those in the West, must go to the barricades against bigotry.”
His comments are in stark contrast to the President’s refusal to publicly denounce anti-Semitic acts. Following the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 where neo-Nazis chanted that “the Jews will not replace us” and a woman was killed, the President said that both sides were to blame and claimed there were good people on good sides.
“You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say it, but I will say it right now,” he said then.
Even earlier, when he was campaigning for president, Trump told a group of Jewish Republicans, “You’re not gonna support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your politicians, that’s fine.”