Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar is facing backlash from top Republican and Democratic leadership for blasting the largest pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, on twitter Sunday. Omar responded to a tweet by the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald about the US Israel relationship saying, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby”
It's all about the Benjamins baby ? https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
Later, Omar responded to a tweet from Forward journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon that read “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess. Bad form, Congresswoman. That’s the second anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted.”
In fact, Omar’s response was immediate “AIPAC.” The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is the largest pro-Israel lobby in America and apparently Omar’s target.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Ungar-Sargon’s tweet was a direct response to California Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s calls to reprimand Omar for her continued displays of antisemitism.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib 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 https://t.co/It1fGm1b70
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 10, 2019
AIPAC quickly responded to Omar’s slanderous tweet saying, “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.”
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
Under President Trump the U.S. has developed a stronger relationship with Israel. This week US troops are in Israel working alongside the Israel Defense Forces for defense collaboration. The U.S. Defense Department also recently purchased Israel’s Iron Dome Missile interception technology.
Omar Doesn’t Miss an Opportunity To Criticize Israel
Omar’s Sunday tweet was not her first anti-semitic display. Last month Omar compared Israel’s policies to the Jim Crow Era. Omar said she did not believe Israel is a democracy because it is a Jewish state.
Many of them truly know this, but don’t want to accept it. In the same way many Americans knew separate yet equal was immoral but remained silent until brave few were silent no more.
They can attack, spin my words and vilify me, but they will not succeed in silencing me! https://t.co/JSwhoSQuGF
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 1, 2019
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman referred to Omar’s tweet as ‘painful but amusing.’
Congresswoman from Minnesota falsely claims US officials are paid to support Israel. I find that painful but amusing. This US official gladly took a massive pay cut for the privilege to serve & the honor of advancing US' best interests by supporting the US-Israel relationship.
— David M. Friedman (@USAmbIsrael) February 11, 2019
Omar doesn’t seem to miss an opportunity to criticize the Jewish people and Israel. In Nov. 2012, Omar tweeted about the alleged ‘evil doings of Israel’ saying “Israel has hypnotized the world.”
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 16, 2012
Omar Faces Backlash From Democrats and Republicans
Moreover, Omar is now facing backlash from both sides of the political aisle. For example, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley tweeted, “This CANNOT be tolerated in our own Congress by anyone of either party.”
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
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