As much as Sen. Amy Klobuchar's presidential candidacy can be welcomed, anti-Semitic remarks can be condemned.
And that was precisely the appropriate and bipartisan response that followed a congresswoman's tweets Sunday accusing lobbyists of paying members of Congress to support Israel. Of particular concern to us in the Gopher State was that the tweets were from U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. She apologized a day later. Mostly. She used the "apology" to also reaffirm "the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics." Is an apology with a disclaimer a genuine apology?
It was "the second anti-Semitic trope (Omar) tweeted," as Batya Ungar-Sargon, opinion editor at The Forward newspaper, pointed out, also with a tweet. "Bad form, Congresswoman."
"Omar's statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself," U.S. Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., tweeted. "At a time when anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise our leaders should not be invoking hurtful stereotypes and caricatures of Jewish people to dismiss those who support Israel."
Even Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, condemned Omar.
"We have to call out anti-Semitic language and tropes on all sides, particularly in our elected officials and particularly now," Clinton wrote. She vowed to reach out to Omar's office to discuss "anti-Semitic tropes."
U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and others quickly called on Democratic leaders to "take action" regarding tweets and comments by Omar and by fellow Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who also recently was critical of Israeli support. As NBC News reported, McCarthy compared his call to the Republicans' recent denouncement of racist remarks by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa.
In last fall's election, Omar made history. She was one of the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress. That accomplishment can be cheered. It should not be diminished.
But anti-Semitic remarks can just as enthusiastically be rejected.
And as Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted Sunday, "Words matter." Like most other new members of Congress, Omar has that and more to learn.