Letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, presented during NCJA’s March 14th Office Take-Over

National Conference of Jewish Affairs

March 14, 2019

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives

United States Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Madam Speaker:

We have come today to your office to communicate our severe displeasure and wonderment over your refusal to specifically condemn the anti-Semitic remarks of Minn. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Her distasteful anti-Jewish innuendos are now part of a repeated pattern. They smack of an anti-Jewishness and an obvious desire by her for the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. This is apparent to anyone, except those who harbor a hidden degree of anti-Semitism or those who are guided by certain political motivations that seem to override the American values of decency and plain justice.

More disturbing was your inability to convince your members that anti-Semitism should itself be condemned as a stand-alone poison and atrocity. You were unable, or unwilling, to stand up to various Caucuses inside your Party who are unwilling to condemn anti-Semitism in its own right, especially grievous since the source of the whole Resolution discussion began in response to the repeated anti-Semitic pronouncements of Congresswoman Omar. Her remarks were deliberate and calculated, and everyone knows it.

It bespeaks negatively of some of the groups within your coalition, that the only way to mention anti-Semitism was to include in your Resolution forms of hate that had nothing at all to do with the nature of the problem infecting the House. Furthermore, it codified as “Islamophobic” anyone who legitimately criticizes bigoted remarks if coming from Ms. Omar or members of her community.

Speaker Pelosi: You had a chance to stop anti-Semitism dead in its tracks. You did not. You had a chance to shut down the burgeoning anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes seeping into America’s House of Representatives. But, you didn’t. You allowed anti-Semitism and toxic attitudes towards Israel as a nation to stand in the House. We expect more from a Speaker. You failed. You have allowed the People’s House to become a House with a distinct odor of hate. You had a chance make a righteous historic decision, but instead you chose appeasement and politics, you decided in favor of what you feel will best serve your Party’s political ambitions.

Bottom Line: Omar should be censured and, beyond that, removed from the powerful and influential House Foreign Affairs Committee that you, Madam Speaker, surprisingly granted to this first year legislator. Omar’s thinking, her conduct, and her blithe willingness to inject anti-Semitic tropes into the legislative process, make her unfit to hold such a strategic position.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, and all gathered here today

National Conference of Jewish Affairs

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