In a letter sent on Monday, the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), which represents more than 2,000 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in American public life, reiterated its demand that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) be expelled from the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Removal of Omar is described in the letter as not only a matter of “moral conscience” but also “a necessary step to quell the rising tide of antisemitic speech and violence now impacting Jewish communities across America.”
The letter was sent to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Leader Hakim Jeffries (D-NY).
The rabbis’ letter brings to mind three requests for Omar’s dismissal made to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, twice following Omar’s “repeated antisemitic outbursts” while serving in Congress and once after Omar was assigned to the committee.
According to the organization, the lack of response to CJV’s demands contributed to the current situation, in which antisemitic hate crimes have sharply escalated over the last four years.
The late Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said that antisemitism or any other form of hate becomes dangerous to society when it enters a “mainstream” party, the public fails to repudiate that party, and “those who stand up and protest are vilified and abused” CJV specifically called out the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), saying the CPC had advanced the “ludicrous” claim that Omar faced criticism “targeting her for her race, rather than her rhetoric.
Given that hate crime data show that outwardly Orthodox Jews are targeted significantly more frequently than any other minority, including non-Orthodox Jews, the signatories claimed particular competence as Orthodox rabbis.
They claimed that a direct link existed between “Omar’s vile remarks” and the fact that the assassin of a Holocaust survivor initially looked for “Zionist Temples” before targeting a Chanukah celebration at a non-Zionist congregation.
As a result, the rabbis determined that Omar’s dismissal from the Foreign Affairs committee was “the only morally just decision for a Member of Congress who condemns racism, bigotry, and antisemitism.”