See below for the letter – first reported by the Washington Post – coauthored by Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA02) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ05), which reads in part:
“As Jewish Members of Congress, we are deeply alarmed by recent rhetoric from certain members within our Caucus, including just last night, that has disparaged us and called into question our loyalty to our nation…We urge you to join us in calling on each member of our Caucus to unite against anti-Semitism and hateful tropes and stereotypes.”
What prompted this letter, as the WaPo points out, were comments by “freshman Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan” that many in the Jewish community “view as anti-Semitic.” Personally, I see criticism of Israeli policies – particularly those pushed by Israeli and U.S. right wingers – as 100% legitimate. It’s also 100% legitimate to debate U.S. policy towards the Middle East, including towards Israel. But…there’s a line which can be crossed, including obsessive focus on Israel (as opposed to, let’s say, the massive human rights abuses going on in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, etc.). There’s also the line in which rhetoric moves into anti-Semitic territory, such as when Omar claimed that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” or tweeted how support for Israel is supposedly “all about the Benjamins, baby“ – both classic, anti-Semitic tropes. As for Tlaib, her insinuations of “dual loyalty” by American supporters of Israel – another classic, anti-Semitic smear – are also very close to, if not over, that line.