Where there’s smoke there’s usually fire and in the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, and actions deemed anti-Semitic, the smoke is billowing.
Omar, a Somalian refugee and one of the first two Muslim women to ever serve in Congress, was the target of intense criticism Sunday from both side of the aisle after going after the pro-Israel lobby group American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Responding to a tweet from journalist Glenn Greenwald calling out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for expressing concern about the anti-Israel stance from Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., a Palestinian-American and the other Muslim women elected in November, Omar tweeted: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby ?.”
It's all about the Benjamins baby ? https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
The quote is from a 1997 rap song by Puff Daddy, and the intended message was that politicians in the U.S. are beholden to Israeli money.
Criticism of the offensive tweet was widespread.
When Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor of The Forward newspaper, questioned Omar about who is paying these politicians, she responded with: “AIPAC!”
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Adding fuel to a raging inferno, Omar retweeted a reply from Politico Magazine editor Joshua Zeitz, who took offense to her actions — she would later delete the retweet.
“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,” Zeitz said in a tweet. “And I know exactly what the congresswoman meant. She might as well call us hook-nosed.”
3. Did she not read the full tweet? pic.twitter.com/0Ikkjt6edO
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 11, 2019
Omar has a history of criticizing Israel saying in a 2012 tweet that the Jewish state “has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
Of course, this did not stop Speaker Nancy Pelosi from giving her a coveted seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
McCarthy responded, calling out Democratic leadership to respond to “this reckless language.”
Anti-Semitic tropes have no place in the halls of Congress. It is dangerous for Democrat leadership to stay silent on this reckless language.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) February 11, 2019
The American Jewish Committee called on Omar to apologize for her “stunningly anti-Semitic” tweet.
.@IlhanMN, Suggesting that a Jewish organization is buying off American politicians is both demonstrably false and stunningly anti-Semitic. American politicians are pro-Israel because Americans are (https://t.co/QMr1oCcnHX). Apologize. pic.twitter.com/VdJh0W8sx1
— AJC (@AJCGlobal) February 11, 2019
The backlash to Sunday’s tweets included members of her own party, as seen in a statement from Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., another freshman who took exception to the newly elected Democrat’s bold anti-Semitic actions.
“When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes and words against people of my faith, I will not be silent,” Rose said in a statement, according to Fox News.
“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,” the release said, in part. “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.”
Hell, even Chelsea Clinton took offense, responding to the controversy to say public figures should not “traffic in anti-Semitism.”
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
Though, it didn’t take too long for the two to make nice and shift the focus to bashing Republicans.
Hello Congresswoman! Completely agree. I will reach out to your office tomorrow. Looking forward to connecting about this thread and more, Chelsea
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 11, 2019
The problem with radical left-wing progressives is that, in their audacity, they refuse to acknowledge the error of their ways, as seen in a response from Omar on CNN last week to the criticism she receives.
“It’s not surprising. I think it is actually exciting because we are finally able to have conversations that we weren’t really willing to,” Omar said. “It is really important for us to get a different lens about what peace in that region could look like and the kind of difficult conversations we need to have about allies.”
Here’s a sampling of some of the more notable responses to Omar from Twitter:
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) 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
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
— Matt Brooks (@mbrooksrjc) February 11, 2019
First @IlhanMN said that Jews hypnotize everyone into getting their way. Now she says they pay those in power to get their way.
If you’d like to follow along with Ilhan’s Big Book of Antisemitic Stereotypes, she’s about to turn over to page 3.#Antisemitism
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) February 11, 2019
Imagine thinking $25 can fundamentally change someone’s views on everything.
— Ashley Rae Goldenberg (@Communism_Kills) February 11, 2019
Hi @IlhanMN. Per published reports, you were born in Somalia and you were late a refugee in Kenya. What is your relation to Israel that you seem more obsessed to tear that country down than to build up the two countries where you spent the first 14 years of your life?
— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) February 11, 2019
What an embarrassment you are pic.twitter.com/zC5Ls5nuOz
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) February 11, 2019
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