President Biden on Thursday kicked off a series of meetings with world leaders in Carbis Bay, England, a scenic seaside resort, where he met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G-7 summit.
The scene was perhaps a welcome respite for the president from the brutal domestic policy battlefield, especially as House Democrats were in the midst of some of the worst intra-party elite shootings they’ve ever had. seen for years.
Tensions between moderate Democrats and Jews and “squad” members like Representative Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Exploded into the light this week following recent comments she made apparently comparing the United States. and Israel to Hamas.
A group of moderate Democrats blasted Omar for his statement in a joint press release, prompting Omar, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y. putting Omar in “danger”, and more.
The conflict began to brew on Monday when Omar tweeted about “unthinkable atrocities committed by the United States, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban,” after making similar comments during a hearing in commission. It peaked Wednesday and Thursday when the group of moderates, including representatives Josh Gotthheimer, DN.J .; Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass .; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., And eight others pounced on Omar in a scathing statement.
“Ignoring the differences between rule-of-law democracies and despicable organizations that engage in terrorism discredits the intended argument at best and at worst reflects deeply rooted prejudices,” they said.
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Omar responded by calling the statement “shameful” and saying: “The constant harassment and silence from the signatories of this letter is unbearable. »Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Was among the others who came to Omar’s defense. She told moderate lawmakers, “Enough with anti-darkness and Islamophobia.
There were signs that tensions may have eased Thursday afternoon when Omar released a statement saying his comments were “not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the United States and Israel.” established justice systems.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And a group of Democratic House leaders appeared to accept it in a subsequent statement.
“We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there is no moral equivalence between the United States and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban,” they said. One of the signatories of Omar’s initial critical statement appeared at also try to lower the temperature.
But later that day, Squad member Representative Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. Launched a flanking attack on Pelosi and his leadership team, signaling that the internal fighting could last even longer.
“Free speech does not exist for Muslim women in Congress,” Tlaib said. “The benefit of the doubt does not exist for Muslim women in Congress. The Democratic House leadership should be ashamed of its relentless and exclusive policing of Congressional women of color.”
Even though fighters in the last moderate skirmishes against the far left have laid down their swords, for now, the fundamental tension beneath the surface is unlikely to disappear as it has been simmering for years.
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Just a few weeks ago, Democrats – including Wasserman Schultz and Omar – were heading to the House to make radically different speeches on the fighting between Hamas and Israel. And as recently as 2019, the House passed a resolution condemning bigotry in response to Omar’s comments suggesting that supporters of Israel were pushing American politicians to declare “allegiance” to Israel. This was seen as a form of the long-standing “double loyalty” trope that has been used against the Jewish people for centuries.
Thousands of miles away, Biden has been largely spared from crossfire on the matter, unlike recent fighting in the Middle East where he has been forced to walk a political tightrope to reaffirm Israel’s right to stand still. defend while avoiding alienating left-wing Democrats like Omar at home.
Instead, Biden enjoyed a light jaunt with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and their wives on Thursday at Carbis Bay, a scenic coastal retreat in England. The president then gifted his British counterpart, an avid cyclist, a new bike from Bilenky Cycle Works of Philadelphia.
Johnson gave the president a framed photo of a mural by American abolitionist Frederick Douglass and gifted First Lady Jill Biden a first edition book by the late novelist Daphne du Maurier.
The photos show the couples strolling together on a beachfront catwalk, smiling and taking in the views.
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The British government has sent 5,000 more police to the quiet town for added security as leaders from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan converge. Authorities even hired a 3,000-bed cruise ship to help them find accommodation.
After the tour, Biden and Johnson sat down for a bilateral meeting where they discussed climate change, global security, the war in Afghanistan and the coronavirus. They also signed a new document relating to the Atlantic Charter, first signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, which led to the United Nations and NATO.
Biden arrived in the UK on Wednesday to launch an eight-day European visit to attend the G-7 summit, meet Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle and meet Russian Vladimir Putin.
During the summit, he stays at the Tregenna Castle Resort in Carbis Bay, an 18th-century waterfront castle surrounded by over 70 acres of gardens, woodland, and its own 18-hole golf course. Stays there can cost north of $ 500 per night for normal visitors.
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The G-7 summit begins on Friday. After that, the president will meet with the leaders of NATO and the European Union and possibly meet with Putin.
The leaders are expected to discuss the rise of international cybercrime, the conflict in Ukraine and interests in the Arctic region.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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