The US House of Representatives passed a resolution Thursday condemning anti-Semitism, along with select other forms of demonstrable hate against people based on their race, religion and nation allegiance, by a vote of 407-32.
The resolution came in the wake of political backlash against comments made by freshmen Representative Ilhan Omar. What began as an insinuation by Congresswoman Omar about American Jewish influence over US support for Israel became a clash over anti-Semitism. In turn, the scope broadened to encompass hatred against people based on their race and religion, overall. The resolution sparked disagreements surrounding candid legislative deliberation as well as setting possible riffs within the Democratic party.
In reaction to Omar’s remarks, the resolution’s text states the following:
Whereas Jewish people are subject in the media and political campaigns to numerous other dangerous anti-Semitic myths as well, including that Jews control the United States Government or seek global, political, and financial domination and that Jews are obsessed with money;
Whereas accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to the Jewish community than to the United States constitutes anti-Semitism because it suggests that Jewish citizens cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors, when Jews have loyally served our Nation every day since its founding, whether in public or community life or military service.
The resolution contains nine clauses, some of which overlap in theme. Five are directed against anti-Semitism, and four are directed against anti-Muslim sentiments. One is broader and condemns bigotry in general.
The resolution mentioned the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. It highlighted the presence of resurgent white nationalist groups in the US today. It also mentioned the internment of Japanese-American during World War II, the Dreyfus Affair during World War I, the suspicion that John F. Kennedy would be a puppet of the Roman Catholic Church because he was Irish-Catholic, and the treatment of Americans who identify as Muslim following 9/11. The resolution also mentioned the clash in Charlottesville, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in Charleston and the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.