House minority leader Kevin McCarthy demanded Speaker Nancy Pelosi remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs committee on Tuesday, accusing the 'Squad' member of making anti-American comments.
Republicans and Democrats have accused Omar of comparing war crimes committed by Israel and the U.S. with Hamas and the Taliban.
The episode has exposed divisions between progressive Democrats who want to take a tougher line on Israel and the party establishment.
The result is a slew of Republican attacks designed to heap pressure on Pelosi and President Joe Biden.
'I think Nancy Pelosi should remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs committee,” he said.
He also said he would strip her of the assignment if he the GOP wins back the House next year.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy demanded that Speaker Nancy Pelosi strip Rep. Ilhan Omar of her Foreign Affairs committee assignment, saying anyone with 'anti-Semitic, anti-American' views should be barred
Rep. Ilhan Omar has faced intense criticism since last week when she tweeted: 'We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.' Republicans and members of her own party accused her of comparing the U.S. and Israel with terrorist groups
'I will promise you this, if we are fortunate enough to have the majority, Omar would not be serving on Foreign Affairs, or anybody that has an anti-Semitic, anti-American view,' he said.
'That is not productive and that is not right.'
A day earlier, House Republicans published a resolution censuring Omar and three other members of the progressive 'Squad'.
It claimed Omar 'accused the U.S. of backing crimes against humanity.'
The row erupted last week when Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on which Omar sits.
She quizzed him about the Biden administration's decision to oppose the International Criminal Court taking up an investigation into alleged war crimes in Israel and Afghanistan.
He responded by saying that courts in the U.S. and Israel were the right forum for such claims.
Afterwards, she tweeted a video of the exchange and wrote: 'We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.
'We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.'
The Republican right reacted with howls of outrage, accusing her of anti-Semitism.
And some of her own Democratic Party colleagues joined in.
Omar tweeted about her exchange with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during which she quizzed him about justice for war crimes victims
'Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,' said a group of 11 Jewish Democrats.
House Democratic leaders including Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded with a statement hoping to head off damaging splits, saying that criticism of Israel and the U.S. was protected free speech.
'But drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the US and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress,' they added.
'I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,' she said.
Fellow squad members leaped to her defense. Alexandria Ocasio-Cotez and Rashida Tlaib both criticized members of their caucus for targeting Omar and 'policing' her words.