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The Latest: Pelosi says Omar unaware of Israel words impact

March 7, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on House Democrats and Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says freshman Democrat Ilhan Omar didn’t realize her words about Israel would sound anti-Semitic to some powerful members of Congress.

Omar’s comment that a pledge of “allegiance” to the Jewish state is expected of lawmakers sparked enough outrage to split Democrats and throw their agenda into question. Some Democrats wanted a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, while others said that would have unfairly singled out the Minnesota Democrat.

Pelosi told reporters the resolution the House will vote on Thursday will “speak out against anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-white supremacy and all the forms that it takes.”

Of Omar, Pelosi said, “I do not believe she understood the full weight of her words. These words have a history and a cultural impact.”

Omar, a Somali-American, is one of two Muslim women in the House.

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10:30 a.m.

The House is expected to vote Thursday on a resolution “opposing hate” as Democrats try to move on from a controversy that has split the party and clouded their agenda.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the vote at a private morning meeting of House Democrats, according to a spokeswoman.

Democrats have been in knots after comments from newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., that were seen as anti-Semitic. A Muslim-American, she has been critical of Israel.

Some Democratic lawmakers wanted a resolution that rebuked the comments, but others viewed the condemnation as unfairly singling out Omar at a time when President Donald Trump and others have made disparaging racial comments.

A draft resolution was panned by many Democrats, and a new text was being prepared ahead of voting.