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House Passes Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism, Other Forms of Bigotry

March 7, 2019
House Passes Resolution Condemning Anti-Semitism, Other Forms of Bigotry
Ilhan Omar. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A resolution that started out as a condemnation of anti-Semitism passed the House on Thursday after several contentious days that saw denunciations of Islamophobia, white supremacy, and other forms of bigotry and prejudice added to the bill. The final vote was 427-23 (all Republicans).

A four-page draft resolution was written and circulated Monday in an attempt to quell a storm created by Minnesota freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has been criticized for a series for anti-Semitic comments. But the resolution faced resistance from progressives and the Congressional Black Caucus. Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Cedric Richmond (D-La.) introduced the final measure on Thursday. Omar voted Yea.

Large portions of the resolution name-checked specific anti-Semitic tropes, including the dual-loyalty canard and allegations “that Jews control the United States Government or seek global, political, and financial domination and that Jews are obsessed with money.” Omar, the most recent author of such allegations, was not named.

Other sections of the measure details anti-Muslim slurs: “the irrational belief that Muslims are inherently violent, disloyal, and foreign,” etc. Recent acts of violence against Muslims, Jews, mosques, and synagogues abound in the text.

Much of the language in the resolution was as general as possible, including the observation that “the violation of an individual’s civil rights based on his or her actual or perceived membership in a particular religious group clearly violates the Constitution and laws of the United States.” The resolution was delayed at the last minute as leadership added “Latinos… Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” and “the LGBTQ community” to a list of aggrieved minority groups.

Any time Congress goes out of its way to denounce evil, Americans should celebrate. Yet it’s hard to imagine a resolution more laden with both-sides-ism. In an age where victim status is tantamount to virtue, a clean resolution might not have passed.

Benjamin Parker

Benjamin Parker is a senior editor at The Bulwark.