Rep. Phillips Responds to Anti-Semitic Comments
Phillips reiterates commitment to fostering understanding and collaboration
Washington, DC, February 12, 2019
Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) had an impassioned, face to face conversation with Rep. Ilhan Omar this evening during which he expressed offense to her recent anti-Semitic tropes and extended an invitation for future discussions aimed at fostering a better understanding between Jewish and Muslim members of Congress. Rep. Phillips offered a statement following that conversation:
“I strongly condemn anti-Semitism in all its forms, including comments made by my colleague that - purposefully or not - have propagated dangerous and destructive stereotypes of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. As elected leaders, it is our collective responsibility to set standards of respect and elevate understanding between the communities we represent.
I spoke privately with Rep. Ilhan Omar today before issuing a statement in the hopes of converting a painful experience into a learning opportunity and a mutual commitment to pursue understanding. We agreed to move forward with a shared goal of working collaboratively to combat hatred and intolerance towards all persecuted communities, and commit to respectful debate of the issues important to each of us.
It’s quite clear that if America hopes to realize the great possibilities of its remarkable mosaic, we all must invest more time talking and less time tweeting. I look forward to doing that work with my colleagues of all political persuasions and faiths, and encourage others to make the same commitment.”
Rep. Phillips is the first Jewish Minnesotan elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Minnesota’s Third (Rep. Phillips) and Fifth (Rep. Omar) Congressional Districts are the only neighboring districts in America represented by members of Jewish and Muslim faiths.