Widespread condemnation followed Minnesota Rep. Omar’s latest anti-Semitic tweet in which she accused the largest pro-Israel lobbying organization of paying members of Congress to back Israel.
U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) added to her anti-Semitic record on Sunday a little more than a month since being sworn in as a freshman member of Congress. She accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest pro-Israel lobbying organization, of paying members of Congress to back Israel.
Specifically, Omar replied to a Twitter post by journalist Glenn Greenwald about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “threatening punishment for [Omar] and [Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib] over their criticisms of Israel.”
“It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans,” he added.
It’s all about the Benjamins baby 🎶 https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
Batya Ungar-Sargon, opinion editor for The Forward, responded: “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess. Bad form, Congresswoman.”
Without specifying, she added, “That’s the second anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted.”
Replying to Ungar-Sargon, Omar, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, tweeted: “AIPAC!”
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
“We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship,” tweeted AIPAC Sunday evening. “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.”
Slammed by Her Own Party
Democrats blasted Omar for her latest anti-Semitic remarks.
“Comments like this are disgraceful and blatantly anti-semitic, and they have no place in our country’s discourse. I support Israel because of our common values,” tweeted New York Rep. Anthony Brindisi. “As leaders, we should work to unite our country, not further divide us.”
New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer tweeted, “For nearly two weeks, Rep. @IlhanMN has avoided meeting with me to discuss why anti-Semitic tropes like these are hurtful to so many Americans. There is absolutely no place for this rhetoric in Congress — or anywhere.”
There is no place in our country for anti-Semitic comments. I condemn them whatever the source,” tweeted Florida Rep. Donna Shalala. “To suggest members of Congress are ‘bought off’ to support Israel is offensive and wrong.”
New York Rep. Max Rose said in a statement, “When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes and words against people of my faith, I will not be silent. Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive enough. But to go a step further, and retweet someone declaring their pain and sentiment is simply unacceptable.”
“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,” he 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. The congresswoman’s statements do not live up to that cherished ideal.”
Republicans such as Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton joined their Democratic colleagues: “@AIPAC promotes better understanding of the Middle East, combats the ancient hatred of anti-semitism, & strengthens the US alliance with Israel. I’m grateful for their work & I always look forward to seeing them. Thank you!”