MARLBORO – The township’s elected officials have condemned remarks made by a Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota that were described as being anti-Semitic.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who is serving her first two-year term in the House of Representatives, asserted in a tweet on Feb. 10 that support for Israel in Congress is predicated on monetary support from a pro-Israel lobbying group.
Omar was rebuked by members of the Democratic and Republican parties and apologized for her remarks, saying, “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.
“My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. I unequivocally apologize. At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics. … It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it,” Omar said.
On Feb. 12, Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik, Township Council President Scott Metzger, Vice President Carol Mazzola, Councilman Jeff Cantor, Councilwoman Randi Marder and Councilman Michael Scalea issued a statement and said, “It recently came to our attention that a member of Congress from Minnesota made comments that can only be
described as anti-Semitic.
“The comments served no purpose other than to disparage a group, and dig up what many of us recognize as centuries-old myths about people of Jewish faith, ones that have unfortunately regained traction in the past few years.
“We condemn these remarks as wrong and hurtful, and stand firm together in declaring that such comments have no place in our dialogue, let alone the U.S. Congress.
We are heartened congressional leaders from both parties have publicly rebuked the statements made and that the member ultimately apologized for her ugly remarks.
“That said, we must remain united and vigilant in condemning such comments, especially when they are uttered by those we elect to serve. We believe strongly in the principle that people are free to disagree about policy; it is what this country is all about and ultimately makes us stronger.
“However, sometimes a disagreement about policy extends too far, well beyond the issue at hand. When comments enter the public sphere that are deliberately offensive and specific to a particular race, religion, gender or other category of person, we will continue to be resolute and unequivocal in our condemnation.
“It is our hope that going forward we are all able to spend more time and energy celebrating what unites us and makes this country, and Marlboro, great,” Marlboro’s elected officials said.