Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who is Jewish, explained to MSNBC Thursday why she accepted a personal apology from Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is being widely criticized for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks.
Schakowsky revealed that Omar apologized to her, "not only for the words that she has used, but she apologized personally to me as a Jew."
"I want to tell you, part of being a Jew is to be welcoming to the stranger. And I want to tell you, Ilhan Omar is a refugee from Somalia. She comes from a different culture. She has things to learn," she continued.
"This is not a conversation that we ought to have on social media and in the public…" Schakowsky explained on MSNBC. "The majority of us are — vast majority are going to be voting for a resolution that I hope puts this to bed, that says, yes, as a Jew, anti-Semitism is a huge deal, the anti-Semitic acts are up 50 percent over last year."
"But Islamophobia is also a huge problem," she continued, "and I want to tell you that Ilhan Omar is under tremendous attack, death threats. I think maybe she needs some security. And why? Because I think, in part, the Republicans and the media have blown this up to be much more than it is."
"I am not either trivializing anti-Semitism or the things that she said or saying that it's okay that she said them," she clarified. "But what I am saying is that I think this a learning moment for her and a learning moment for the caucus on how to get along."