“This is endangering lives,” she said in a statement on Sunday night. “It has to stop.”
centrist Democrats have a more complex relationship with Ms. Omar. Her
leftist brand of politics does not go over well in the swing districts
that delivered Democrats the House majority. Her views on Israel make
many Jews — an important component of the Democratic base — deeply
uneasy. And her insinuations that American policy toward the Jewish
state is driven by money — “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” she
wrote on Twitter — have drawn charges of anti-Semitism, prompting her to apologize.
So while Ms.
Omar’s more moderate colleagues have denounced the threats against her,
they have been tepid in their remarks. Representative Josh Gottheimer, a
centrist Democrat from New Jersey and strong supporter of Israel, spoke
carefully when asked about Ms. Omar.
“The response to different points of view in our country must never be threats of physical harm or violence,” he said.
if the party is conflicted about Ms. Omar, it is not reflected in the
fund-raising report she filed this week with the Federal Election
During the first quarter
of 2019, she raised $832,000, roughly half of which was from donors
giving under $200. Over all, Ms. Omar took in nearly twice the median
amount raised by incumbents who are in races rated a tossup by the
nonpartisan Cook Political Report, according to Michael Beckel, who
analyzes money in politics for Issue One, a bipartisan group that
advocates election overhaul.
current controversy around Ms. Omar stems from remarks she made to the
Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, describing how the group
was founded after the Sept. 11 attacks “because they recognized that
some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose
access to our civil liberties.” (The group was actually founded in
Last Tuesday, Representative
Daniel Crenshaw, a freshman Republican from Texas, seized on the “some
people did something” phrase, and posted a tweet suggesting Ms. Omar was minimizing the attacks. Conservative news outlets — including The New York Post
and Fox’s “Fox & Friends,” Mr. Trump’s favorite television program —
picked up on it. On Friday, Mr. Trump tweeted the edited video, which
interspersed graphic images of the burning World Trade Center towers
with a clip from Ms. Omar’s speech.
In an interview on Tuesday with CNN,
Ms. Pelosi rejected the notion that Ms. Omar was anti-Semitic, and
expressed concern for her well being, but she said she had not spoken to
the congresswoman about the CAIR speech. “I don’t even know what was
said,” Ms. Pelosi said. “But I do know what the president did was not
Democratic presidential candidates have had their own complicated reactions.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, has cast herself as a
progressive on the campaign trail. But she qualified her support for
Ms. Omar, by saying, “As a senator who represents 9/11 victims, I can’t
accept any minimizing of that pain.”
Mr. Sanders, who hails from the same liberal wing of the party as Ms.
Omar — and would be the country’s first Jewish president if elected —
offered a mixed response. Speaking at a town hall-style meeting
televised by the Fox News Channel on Monday night, he said he respected
Ms. Omar. And while he said he does not believe she is anti-Semitic, he
added, “I think Ilhan has got to do a better job in speaking to the
Ms. Omar’s supporters say there is a danger to the Democratic split.
of these institutional Democratic leaders can’t find, frankly, the
spine to speak up quickly and strongly in defense of one of their
colleagues,” said Zahra Billoo, a spokeswoman for CAIR. “If we don’t
find alignment soon, knowing that Donald Trump is already passing
Democratic candidates in his own fund-raising, I worry that we are
looking at a second term because the leaders of our party did not do the