By COLlive reporter
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio broke from his fellow progressive liberals in the Democratic party, and came out swinging against the anti-Semitic comments by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Thursday.
During a press conference at City Hall, de Blasio was asked about Omar’s remarks questioning the loyalty of Jewish citizens to America. “Did you find them to be anti-Semitic?” the mayor was asked.
“I did. I did,” de Blasio replied. “Let me be really clear, suggesting that support for Israel means that you are beholden to a foreign power is absolutely unacceptable. And it’s illogical too. I believe strongly in the state of Israel. I don’t feel beholden one bit to a foreign power. I am a proud American who believes in the state of Israel and believes it must exist.”
He added, “I happen to be Italian-American, I’ve never heard any one suggest that because of my pride in my ancestral homeland, I am beholden to a foreign government. It’s really inappropriate comment and unfortunately it aligns with a history for centuries of that kind of negative comment being thrown at the Jewish community specifically. There’s a long anti-Semitic tradition associated with that kind of comment.
“I will remind you, just a quick history lesson, when John F. Kennedy was candidate for president of the United States, the first Catholic actually on the verge of becoming president, there was a rampant discussion in this country whether he would be beholden to the Pope. It was anti-Catholic, it was inappropriate, it was offensive, and our country learned from that episode. We have to learn from this episode.
“But what I hope is – because Representative Omar that she doesn’t mean to offend – well if she doesn’t mean to offend, she should sit down with Jewish communities and hear the pain that they experience, hear what has been done to them over not just decades, but centuries.”