US Democrats rocked by anti-Semitism row as Muslim congresswoman apologises

Leading Democrats have publicly rebuked one of their own Muslim congresswoman after she sparked accusations of anti-Semitism.

Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, suggested that support for Israel among her fellow politicians was fueled by money from a pro-Israel lobby group.

The controversy mirrored the anti-Semitism scandal that has engulfed Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party in the UK, and threatened to open a fissure in the Democratic Party.

Ms Omar, a former Somali refugee who represents the state of Minnesota, was elected in November, becoming one of the first two Muslim women in Congress.

She has faced criticism for weeks over her positions on the Jewish state.

Late on Sunday she wrote on Twitter: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”

That was a reference to $100 bills, which feature an image of Benjamin Franklin.

Another Twitter user then asked who she believed was paying US politicians to support Israel.

Ms Omar responded “AIPAC!” referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a bipartisan lobbying group which promotes US-Israel relations.

In a statement Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat speaker of the House, said: “Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.