05:07 GMT06 July 2020
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    After hours of debate on wording, the US House of Representatives on Thursday passed an anti-hate resolution condemning anti-Semitism, discrimination against Muslims, and other forms of bigotry against minorities. The resolution passed with a vote of 407 to 23.

    Republican lawmakers, who prior to the vote condemned the bill as being watered down, were the only ones to oppose the resolution, with one member voting as present. GOP lawmakers wanted the resolution to specifically focus on anti-Semitism and on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

    The legislation was brought forth by lawmakers in the wake of Omar's Twitter remarks in which she stated that lobbyists at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) use financial influence to push a pro-Israel agenda among US lawmakers. Omar also stirred controversy at the end of February in which she spoke to "political influence" in the US that would "push for allegiance to a foreign country." Criticism like the barrage she was subjected to over her language choices is intended to stifle debate and obscure an actual investigation into what is happening to the Palestinian people, she noted.

    Though Omar was referring to political influence at play in the majority-Christian US Congress, many critics immediately denounced her analysis of the difficulty of raising the issue of Palestine as anti-Semitic. Many American Jews, however, denounced that knee-jerk association of Jews with the government of Israel, and defended the lawmakers remarks. 

    Speaking to the Twitter incident, journalist and filmmaker Dan Cohen previously spoke with Sputnik on the matter, stating that the smear campaign against Omar was all part of a "totally manufactured controversy."

    "[There is] nothing remotely controversial about what [the] congresswoman tweeted," Cohen told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear last month. "She said AIPAC pays money to Congress in order to bolster support for Israel, and that is absolutely true. That's not controversial at all.

    "So what we're seeing is a smear campaign that's not only racist and Islamophobic… and it's not only coming from Republican Party… but also from the establishment inside the Democratic Party," he added.

    Omar herself voted in favor of Thursday's resolution. 

    Anti-Hate Resolution, American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Ilhan Omar, United States
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