The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on a formal condemnation of anti-Semitism this week that would also include language condemning anti-Muslim bias.
David Bateman, government professor and expert in American political development at Cornell University, says the resolution is part of an historic tradition of expressing the views of the House of Representatives on social issues.
“A proposed resolution condemning anti-Semitism, and possibly anti-Muslim bigotry, is part of a long tradition of expressing the position of the House on broader social issues. It will also be, as was the case with racist Steve King, an implicit rebuke of a sitting member.
“The leadership’s decision to advance the resolution reflects their efforts to manage a growing intra-party divide, which for decades has supported Israel despite its increasingly racist and authoritarian policies. The resolution’s proponents insist that Representative Ilhan Omar’s criticism of U.S. policy was phrased in anti-Semitic terms. Opponents construe it as an attempt to delegitimize progressive critiques of Israel, not unreasonable given recent congressional efforts to punish speech against the regime and the claims by members that any questioning of American support for Israel is unacceptable.
“What remains unclear is whether the resolution will be phrased such that those critical of Israel can support it, or whether it will constitute an unambiguous effort to push support for democratization in Israel-Palestine outside the bounds of acceptability.”