No Response From Rep. Ilhan Omar: Some Constituents Say Jews Spread COVID
This reporter requested a comment from Rep. Omar’s office but didn’t receive one. Additionally, her office phone numbers in both Washington D.C. and Minneapolis either immediately disconnected or didn’t have a voicemail box set up.
The video starts with one question directed to Omar’s Muslim constituents, “Do you believe that Jews created the coronavirus to target Muslims?”
That question, and others on the same line, got shocking responses of unequivocally “yes.”
“Depopulization, especially in the Muslim community,” one man said, adding “Definitely, Israel could’ve had a hand in it.” That same man said he believes that the Jews, Russia, and/or China ‘worked with each other’ and are responsible for spreading the virus.
Another said, “They want to destroy Muslims! That’s what I think… They’re trying to torture all types of Muslims.”
“They want to rule the world, all that stuff,” one man explained.
Each person interviewed believed that Jews were taking advantage of the financial markets amid the COVID financial downturn. “If everything’s cheap now, you can buy all the lands! They probably want to buy all the Muslim lands so they can control Muslims!” one young man said.
The truth is these antisemitic tropes have existed for centuries and throughout some of the most devastating diseases of our time. That includes the Black Death in Europe that occurred in 1348.
As scholar Catherine M. Porter points out in her writing on the subject, there was an overarching lack of medical reasoning that would explain where the virus spreads, why certain symptoms occur, and how to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Now, we know that people living in medieval times didn’t practice proper hygiene and there wasn’t the proper sewage infrastructure in place, causing rats and flees to rule the streets.
Many Christians at the time, however, blamed the virus on the Jews.
“While the Catholic Church did not condone the persecution of the Jews, many Christians at the time still thought the European Jewry was responsible,” wrote Porter. “There was no concrete or logical reason behind the blame except hundreds of years of prejudice and persecution.”
“During the plague of 1348, a rumor was started that led to more persecution. Even today, this myth is still synonymous with the bubonic plague. A rumor was started that Jews were secretly poisoning water sources and that was the cause of all of Christianity’s pain and suffering,” she stated in her article.
That same trope is certainly making its way into Rep. Omar’s district, but whether she will speak out against it remains to be seen.