(RepublicanDaily.org) – Forty-two Democrats penned a letter condemning their fellow Democrat Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal for recent anti-Israel comments she made at a conference. The letter, led by Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, states that Israel is the “legitimate homeland of the Jewish people” and that it is dangerous and “anti-Semitic” to call Israel racist or extremist in the way that Jayapal recently did.
The US House of Representatives also passed a Republican-sponsored resolution on Tuesday, July 18, restating strong backing of Israel in the face of Jayapal’s remarks. The bipartisan resolution was put forward by Republican Congressman August Pfluger of Texas and gained the support of 400 members in the House, which has 435 representatives in total. The strongly stated support for Israel didn’t mention Jayapal by name but was clearly a rebuke to previous comments she’d made.
Speaking three days before this resolution at a conference, Jayapal had said Israel was a “racist state” for its military actions in the Palestinian Territories, including the collateral killing of innocent civilians during combat against Palestinian militants and Hamas. Following Pfluger’s condemnation and the rebuke from many of her Democratic colleagues, Jayapal said she wouldn’t let herself be “bullied” by the “political games” of the Republican party in trying to shut down fair debate and criticism of Israel.
Nonetheless, Jayapal did walk back some of her comments, saying in a statement on Sunday, July 16 that she hadn’t meant to say Israel was racist but rather, specifically, that Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s “extreme right-wing government” is racist and extremist against Palestinians. Jayapal added that she supports a “two-state solution” in Israel and believes that Jewish “settlement” expansion in the West Bank is making a peace process more unlikely. However, Jayapal added that as a “woman of color” she would never want to minimize the suffering of others or the historical persecution of Jews and that she gives her “apologies” to anybody she hurt with her comments in claiming Israel is a “racist state.”
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