The backlash from Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments on social media widely condemned as anti-Semitic might make it difficult for Democratic presidential contenders to take a tough stand against Israel, says The Washington Post.
Omar, a freshman Democrat from Minnesota, earlier this week apologized after posting tweets questioning the financial relationship between the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobby, and members of Congress.
Omar suggested Israel’s allies in Congress were motivated by money, tweeting that political leaders’ support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins.”
Israel has become an increasingly partisan issue over the past decade during a period that included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clashes with former President Barack Obama over the Iran nuclear deal and President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
The vast majority of Democrats support a two-state solution and some leaders have been critical of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank.
Four of the five Democratic senators running for president voted against a bill that authorizes state and local governments to demand that contractors declare they do not support boycotts of Israel or its settlements in the West Bank.
The issue remains problematic for Democrats, but major changes to the Democrats’ approach to Israel are unlikely, according to the Post.