Emotional Meghan McCain slams anti-Semitism: ‘What Ilhan Omar is saying is very scary’

ABC News’ “The View” co-host Meghan McCain teared up on Thursday when discussing freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who has been condemned by members of both parties for alleged anti-Semitic comments.

Near the end of a lengthy discussion about Omar’s controversial remarks, co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Joy Behar said it’s hypocritical for Republicans to attack Omar when they support President Trump, who “traffics in bigotry.”

“These are dog-whistle comments for Jewish Americans,” McCain said. “I take this very personally.”

McCain turned emotional and her voice started to crack as she explained that she considers many Jewish friends so close that they’re essentially family.

McCain turned emotional and her voice started to crack as she explained that she considers many Jewish friends so close that they’re essentially family. (ABC)

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McCain turned emotional and her voice started to crack as she explained that she considers many Jewish friends so close that they’re essentially family.

“I take the hate crimes rising in this country incredibly seriously and I think what’s happening in Europe is really scary and I’m sorry if I’m getting emotional but the idea that this is politicized…I was very nervous to talk about this on the show because I thought it would become politicized and it really shouldn’t be,” McCain said. “On both sides it should be called out.”

McCain said that she doesn’t need Jewish blood relatives to feel strongly about anti-Semitism.

“It is very dangerous, very dangerous and I think we collectively as Americans on both sides, what Ilhan Omar is saying is very scary to me,” she said. “It’s very scary to a lot of people and I don’t think you have to be Jewish to recognize that.”

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Last month, Omar ignited a bipartisan uproar in Washington and Minnesota when she suggested on Twitter that members of Congress are paid by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to support Israel. AIPAC is a nonprofit organization that works to influence U.S. policy.

“It is very dangerous, very dangerous and I think we collectively as Americans on both sides, what Ilhan Omar is saying is very scary to me."

— Meghan McCain

Many Jewish leaders denounced her remarks as reviving old stereotypes about Jews, money and power. She soon apologized and said, "Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes."

Many progressive Jews rushed to her defense, however, saying it's not inherently anti-Semitic to criticize Israeli government policies or AIPAC. Omar's spokesman, Jeremy Slevin, said she is not criticizing American Jews or their faith, only offering a "fair critique" of Israel's powerful lobby.

That episode came after Omar apologized for a 2012 tweet in which she said, "Israel has hypnotized the world."

Fox News’ Victor Garcia and Gregg Re contributed to this report.