Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Bernie Sanders aide apologizes for suggesting Jews have dual loyalty

Bernie Sanders aide apologizes for suggesting Jews have dual loyalty

Some Minnesota Democrats have begun looking to recruit someone to mount a primary challenge against Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., after her comments about Israel and AIPAC, The Hill reports.

A spokeswoman for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign has apologized after asking whether the "American-Jewish community has a dual allegiance to the state of Israel" - a comment condemned by Jewish leaders as anti-Semitic. "Issues of allegiance and loyalty to one's country come with painful history", Sanders' campaign national deputy press secretary Belén Sisa told Politico.

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According to Politico, Sisa, 25, posed her question during a Facebook discussion in which she declared her support for Omar. "There's definitely talk about people wanting someone to run against her".

Since being sworn in in January, Omar has accused some of her fellow lawmakers of dual loyalty, or "allegiance to a foreign country", due to their support for Israel.

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"There's definitely some buzz going around about it, but it's more a buzz of is anyone talking about finding someone to run against her than it is anyone saying they're going to run against her or contemplate it", Democratic state Sen.

Omar has been under fire over recent comments suggesting Jewish organizations pay U.S. politicians to support Israel, which many viewed as anti-Semitic. The House eventually passed a resolution last week, with only a few Republican dissenting, condemning "hateful expressions of intolerance" against Jews, Muslims and other minorities. Republicans have pushed to have her removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee, but Engel has not asked Democratic leadership to take that step. "We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel", the Vermont independent said.

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Bee also pointed out that Omar is just one of a group of freshman representatives that are not satisfied with the status quo and have brought to the forefront a number of hard and long-overdue conversations, including that of Israel and Palestine, and she encouraged Democrats to take control of that conversation.

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