Rebuke or CYA? Pelosi takes aim at Omar -- in speech to AIPAC

"It's not about the Benjamins", Netanyahu said, responding to a February tweet by Omar purporting that USA politicians' support for Israel was linked to campaign contributions. "It's because America and Israel share a love of freedom and democracy".

And while Pelosi spoke of countering bigotry against Jews in the U.S. and everywhere, and saluted the several Jews who lead House committees - Nita Lowey, Jerry Nadler, Eliot Engel, Adam Schiff, Ted Deutch, and John Yarmuth- Pelosi had zero to say about Islamophobia, and denounced Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar's criticisms of Israel as anti-semitic, though she did not mention the Muslim congresswoman by name.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) engaged in a surprising war of quips over Omar's insistence that Jewish organizations in the US pay US lawmakers to support Israel.

Leading US politicians at the conference condemned US critics of Israel as anti-Semitic but some warned against Republican efforts to deploy support for Israel as a political weapon against Democrats.

Netanyahu had been due to address AIPAC in person, but returned to Israel on Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule, after a rocket attack from Gaza wounded seven people in a village near Tel Aviv.

Omar's remarks loomed over the Washington gathering of pro-Israel advocates, as most speakers mentioned her in some way. To quell the backlash, House Democrats voted on a resolution to condemn all hate speech.

"We don't judge people by the color of their skin, their religion, or their sexual orientation", he added.

The Democratic congresswoman was referring to allegations that surfaced previous year, which accused the prime minister with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, claims Netanyahu described as baseless.

More news: Mueller Report About To Drop; Trump: 'Let People See It'

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also attended the conference, and in his speech hailed Trump as "the best friend Israel ever had in the White House". Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, Sen.

"We will never allow anyone to make Israel a wedge issue", Pelosi said.

He claimed that anti-Semitic tropes had "received new prominence by a sitting member of Congress".

"I was embarrassed that the last resolution had to be watered down", Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Monday evening.

Democrats, coming under fire from Republicans, including President Donald Trump, who described them as the "anti-Jewish" party, made strong speeches at AIPAC to try and stem the damage.

"We must also be vigilant against bigoted or risky ideologies masquerading as policy, and that includes BDS", she argued.

"In our democratic societies, we should welcome legitimate debate at how best to honor our values and to advance our priorities without questioning loyalty or patriotism", she said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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