Democrat Senator Ron Lantz, who recently spoke with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar regarding her history of anti-Semitic remarks, said that many Jewish leaders who recently met with the young lawmaker are deeply concerned.
Lantz said meetings with Omar, who recently became one of the first Muslim-American women elected to Congress, “indicated more of an attitude than mistakes,” implying that Omar’s comments were more deeply rooted in anti-Semitism than many had hoped.
“That’s what’s most troubling,” said Lantz, who went on to say that Omar “doesn’t seem to be learning” from conversations with Jewish leaders.
The young Congresswoman has recently faced mounting backlash for a litany of tweets and other remarks which were deeply critical of Israel, and has faced growing allegations of anti-Semitism coming from both Republicans and Democrats as a result.
As Ilhan Omar’s political star was rising last year on her way to becoming one of the first Muslim women in Congress, several Minnesota Jewish leaders invited her to talk privately about past statements they considered anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Gathering at a state senator’s home, they hoped to get a better sense of her views while expressing their concerns.
Most came away dissatisfied by what they heard.
Those concerns were confirmed this week when Omar suggested on Twitter that members of Congress support Israel for money, igniting a bipartisan uproar in Washington that included criticism from President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“There seems to be a pattern developing which indicates more of an attitude than mistakes,” said Ron Latz, the Democratic state senator who hosted the meeting. “And that’s what’s most troubling. I mean, I’m grateful that she seems to be willing to be engaged in conversations with the Jewish community, but she doesn’t seem to be learning from those conversations.”