Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) stepped in it again over the weekend concerning Israel and got slammed by both parties for it. Surprisingly, Chelsea Clinton was one of those that nailed Omar over her anti-Semitism. Omar accused AIPAC – a prominent lobbying group – of paying members of Congress to support Israel.
Omar is the first Somali-American Muslim woman to be elected to Congress. Her tweets were in response to a Twitter post by leftist journalist Glenn Greenwald criticizing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for threatening to take action against Omar and another freshman lawmaker, Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over anti-Semitic remarks.
“There’s situations in our conference where a member does something that is wrong — I think you’ve seen from my own actions that I take action about it,” McCarthy told reporters while making an apparent reference to Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa. “I think when they stay silent, they are just as guilty … I think this will not be the end of this, and if they do not take action then I think you will see action from myself. It’s unacceptable in this country, especially when you sit back and think about and listen to what this country went through in World War II.”
As Greenwald accused McCarthy of targeting Omar and Tlaib for their numerous criticisms of Israel, Omar responded in kind with: “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” quoting a 1997 rap song by Puff Daddy. She then stood firm when challenged by Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor of The Forward newspaper.
It's all about the Benjamins baby 🎶 https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
“Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess,” Ungar-Sargon tweeted. “Bad form, Congresswoman. That’s the second anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted.” Omar tweeted “AIPAC!” referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which regularly has been accused by progressives of agitating for a conflict with Iran. She is being blatantly anti-Semitic here.
“We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the US-Israel relationship,” AIPAC tweeted in return. “Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and interests. We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work.”
We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the US-Israel relationship. Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and interests. We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work.
— AIPAC (@AIPAC) February 11, 2019
Even Democrats are fed up with this.
From Fox News:
“Another freshman Democrat, Max Rose of New York, tweeted that Omar’s statements “are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.”
“When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes and words against people of my faith, I will not be silent,” Rose said in a statement. “… At a time when anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, our leaders should not be invoking hurtful stereotypes and caricatures of Jewish people to dismiss those who support Israel. In the Democratic Party – and in the United States of America – we celebrate the diversity of our people, and the Gods we pray to, as a strength. The congresswoman’s statements do not live up to that cherished ideal.”
“House GOP conference chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., slammed Omar’s remarks and called for House Democrat leaders to remove Omar from the Housed Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Zudhi Jasser, a physician and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, took Cheney’s call a step further, arguing that removing Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee would be a “good first step, followed by a swift sanction against @IlhanMN for bigotry unfit for the US Congress with removal from all committees. Ignoring this would bring the “bigotry of low expectations” to a new low for Muslims.”
“The Republican Jewish Coalition called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to take action against Omar and asked rhetorically if other House Democrats would “care to comment on the outrageous anti-Semitism being spewed by one of your fêted members?”
“[House Majority] Leader [Steny] Hoyer [D-Md.] – you’ve led many AIPAC trips to Israel,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks tweeted. “Will you speak out against this??”
“McCarthy himself tweeted: “Anti-Semitic tropes have no place in the halls of Congress. It is dangerous for Democrat leadership to stay silent on this reckless language.”
“Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who repeatedly accused the global body of anti-Israel bias during her tenure, tweeted that Omar’s statements “CANNOT be tolerated in our own Congress by anyone of either party. In a time of increased antisemitism, we all must be held to account. No excuses.”‘
Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself. pic.twitter.com/u3f2JHESFA
— Max Rose (@MaxRose4NY) February 11, 2019
Even leftists at Politico get it. Left-wing historian and Politico Magazine contributing editor Joshua Zeitz tweeted: “I’m one of those American Jews who opposes the occupation [of the West Bank and Gaza Strip], laments Israel’s anti-democratic drift, and doesn’t regard the country as especially central to my Jewish identity. And I knew exactly what the congresswoman meant. She might as well call us hook-nosed.”
Max Rose, a New York Democratic congressman, responded to Omar, as well.
“Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself,” he wrote. “Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive enough. But to go a step further and retweet someone declaring their pain at her sentiment is simply unacceptable.”
“At a time when antisemitic attacks are on the rise, our leaders should not be invoking hurtful stereotypes and caricatures of Jewish people to dismiss those who support Israel,” Rose continued. “In the Democratic party – and in the United States of America – we celebrate the diversity of our people, and the Gods we pray to, as a strength.”
As an American Muslim, I plead that this is only a good first step to be followed by a swift sanction against @IlhanMN for bigotry unfit for the US Congress with removal from all committees. Ignoring this would bring the "bigotry of low expectations" to a new low for Muslims. https://t.co/szawtKBQlV
— M. Zuhdi Jasser زهدي جاسر (@DrZuhdiJasser) February 11, 2019
Dan Shapiro, former US ambassador to Israel, denounced Omar, as well, calling her statement a “vile antisemitic trope.”
“Some of us remained uncomfortably quiet after her BDS flip-flop and other offensive remarks because we were aware of efforts to work with her,” said Shapiro. “Her support for BDS is apparently her essence: blaming Israel alone for the conflict, absolving Palestinians of all responsibility, delegitimizing Israel’s very existence…”
Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 11, 2019
Thank you, Chelsea – antisemitism on all sides, in all spaces, no matter how uncomfortable should always be called out and condemned. https://t.co/H1R6l6rXnY
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) February 11, 2019
Hi Melissa – I will reach out to her tomorrow. I also think we have to call out anti-Semitic language and tropes on all sides, particularly in our elected officials and particularly now.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 11, 2019
👋🏽 Chelsea – I would be happy to talk. We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith.
I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you. 💪🏽 https://t.co/EGA9NQfBCi
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Chelsea Clinton stepped into the fray over this and tweeted: “We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.” Which prompted Meghan McCain to applaud Chelsea for calling out anti-Semitism “on all sides, in all spaces, no matter how uncomfortable.”
Chelsea later promised to reach out to Omar which will do no good whatsoever. “I would be happy to talk,” Omar tweeted at Clinton in response. “We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith. I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you.” Right.
The time has come to demand Dem leaders speak out against @ilhanmn for her vile antisemitism. This isn’t going away. Where is @nancypelosi @SenSchumer @RepJerryNadler @RepEliotEngel @RepAdamSchiff @DWStweets and DNC leadership? Have they lost their ears, eyes, or damned minds? pic.twitter.com/mRhtDMJSJC
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) February 11, 2019
This is far from the first time Omar has indulged in open anti-Semitism. She has a long history of it. In 2012, she tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine#Israel.” She did not apologize for posting the tweet until last month and most did not take it as a genuine apology.
Just last month, Omar argued in a Yahoo! News interview that Israel could not be considered a democracy and compared it to the Islamic theocracy in Iran. That’s just incredibly outrageous and untrue.
“When I see Israel institute laws that recognize it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it, and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East I almost chuckle because I know that if we see that any other society we would criticize it, call it out,” she said. “We do that to Iran, we do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion. And I see that now happening with Saudi Arabia and so I am aggravated, truly, in those contradictions.”
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) February 11, 2019
This woman reminds me of Louis Farrakhan. She is a famed Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) supporter as well. Not only should she be removed from the House Foreign Intelligence Committee… she should also be sanctioned and frankly, removed from office over these anti-Semitic statements.
— Matt Brooks (@mbrooksrjc) February 11, 2019
To see this at the UN was a fight every day. This CANNOT be tolerated in our own Congress by anyone of either party. In a time of increased anti semitism, we all must be held to account. No excuses. ❤️🇺🇸 #NoSpaceForHate#NoToleranceForAntiSemitism #WhatIsHappeningWithPeople https://t.co/zUaNjp3hHo
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 11, 2019
I’m one of those American Jews who opposes the occupation, laments Israel’s anti-democratic drift, and doesn’t regard the country as especially central to my Jewish identity. And I know exactly what the congresswoman meant. She might as well call us hook-nosed.
— Joshua Zeitz (@JoshuaMZeitz) February 11, 2019
Words matter Rep. @IlhanMN. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in the US and abroad. The use of this tired anti-Semitic trope about Jews and money is inappropriate and upsetting. As Americans and Jews, we expect our politicians to condemn bigotry, not fuel it. https://t.co/SHKgVL5PWx
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) February 11, 2019
Ilhan Omar laughs and jokes while talking about Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah — Islamic terror groups that kill Americans, U.S. allies, and Jews — during a 2013 interview pic.twitter.com/5INfs6yiSv
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 10, 2019