US lawmaker apologizes after House leaders condemn comments as anti-Semitic

US Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), at the US Capitol in Washington, US, February 7, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 12 February 2019
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US lawmaker apologizes after House leaders condemn comments as anti-Semitic

  • Omar was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for saying on Twitter that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, was paying US politicians to support Israel

WASHINGTON: Democratic lawmaker Ilhan Omar apologized on Monday after party leaders condemned her comments about the pro-Israel lobby in the United States as using anti-Semitic stereotypes.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar, who was elected for the first time to the US House of Representatives in November, said in a statement.
“My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” she said, adding that she “unequivocally” apologized.
Omar was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for saying on Twitter that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group, was paying US politicians to support Israel.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic House leaders condemned her remarks earlier, calling for an apology and saying anti-Semitism must be confronted and condemned.
“Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share,” they said. “But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.”
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, said on Twitter, “Rep. Omar’s use of anti-Semitic stereotype was offensive and irresponsible.”
President Donald Trump later criticized Omar’s remarks and said her apology fell short.
“I think she should be ashamed of herself. I think it was a terrible statement. And I don’t think her apology was adequate,” Trump told reporters en route to El Paso for a speech to press his case for a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Even before her most recent comments, Republicans had criticized Democrats for appointing Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and called for her to be removed from her seat because of past statements critical of Israel.


Egyptian who killed daughter in Germany sentenced to life

Updated 21 February 2019
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Egyptian who killed daughter in Germany sentenced to life

  • The defendant, identified as Ahmed F. in line with German privacy rules, was found guilty of strangling his seven-year-old daughter in July 2018 because he wanted to take revenge against his wife
  • He suspected his wife of infidelity

BERLIN: A German court has sentenced a 33-year-old Egyptian man to life in prison for killing his daughter in a fit of jealousy.
In its verdict Thursday, Duesseldorf's regional court noted the gravity of the crime, preventing his release even after serving the standard 15-year life term.
The defendant, identified as Ahmed F. in line with German privacy rules, was found guilty of strangling his seven-year-old daughter in July 2018 because he wanted to take revenge against his wife, who he suspected of infidelity.
F. denied the allegations and claimed his daughter died in an accident.
His wife had called police after receiving a video call from F. in which he could be seen pointing a gun at their crying daughter. She was dead by the time police entered the apartment.