Davids backs Omar as anti-Jewish comments bring committee ouster

Democrat Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Sharice Davids

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kansas 3rd District Congresswoman Sharice Davids defended her reputed anti-Semite congressional colleague Ilhan Omar in last week’s House vote to remove Omar from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, an ouster driven by Omar’s numerous controversial attacks on Jews and the State of Israel. 

Davids’ vote followed the mainstay of House Democrats opposition to a move initiated by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, which dovetailed with the removal of two other controversial Democrats from committees last week over their nefarious pasts. Davids represents Anderson, Franklin, Miami, Johnson and part of Wyandotte counties in Eastern Kansas.

The final vote removed Omar 218-211.

Davids’ failed endorsement of Omar however did not rise to the theatrics of her fellow Democratic congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Cory Bush of Missouri and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – other members of the so-called “Squad,” – in video clips of their sometimes exaggerated defenses of Omar that circulated on social media.

Critics said McCarthy was engaging in political vengeance against Democrats after former Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi removed several Republicans from committee assignments in recent years over their own controversial statements.

The resolution to remove Omar, a follower of Islam, cited a number of her previous statements targeting Jews as justification. Among those were 2021 comments in which she referred to Israel, a loyal U.S. ally, as “an apartheid state,” and went on to say that those who refused such a characterization needed to “get on the right side of history.” The resolution also noted Omar’s 2019 comments in a speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations that trivialized the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that killed 2,977 people, by describing the  attack as “some people did something.” Omar also famously asked a Minnesota judge for leniency for nine Minnesota men who were facing decades in prison after being accused in 2015 of making plans to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS, which was at its peak level of activity and at the time held territory in Syria and Iraq.

Omar retains her seat in congress and her other committee assignments. Ellie Turner, press secretary for Davids, said Davids has made numerous statements in support of Israel and spoke against anti-Semitic incidents in 2021.

McCarthy also removed California Congressmen Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee; Schiff over repeated lies regarding alleged evidence linking then President Donald Trump to the now debunked “Russian Collusion” investigation, and Swalwell for his previous personal relationship with a suspected Chinese spy who raised funds for his 2014 election bid. McCarthy said Schiff lacked the integrity to serve on the committee with its focus on national security, and that Swalwell himself was a security risk. ###