Ilhan Omar issues apology after condemnations over AIPAC money tweets

Arturo Kim
February 12, 2019

The tweet was immediately criticized as being anti-Semitic, implying Jewish Americans use money to influence a sympathetic USA foreign policy toward Israel.

After pressure from House Democratic leadership, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is apologizing for using what critics call "anti-Semitic tropes" in a tweet she sent out over the weekend criticizing an American organization that supports Israel.

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.

"But Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive", it added.

Starnes noted the "bipartisan outrage" following Omar's criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), including from former first daughter Chelsea Clinton.

Most alarmingly, Omar's comments on Sunday were neither a surprise nor an unexpected gaffe by the Minnesota congresswoman, but part of Omar's long and calculated opposition to Israel and Jewish people worldwide.

Back in October, McCarthy posted a tweet that suggested three Jewish billionaire Democratic donors - George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg - were attempting to "buy" the 2018 midterm elections.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leads a group of top Democrats calling on Omar to apologize.

"I fully expect that when we disagree on the Foreign Affairs Committee, we will debate policy on the merits and never question members' motives or resort to personal attacks", he said.

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Lebanese-American Congresswoman Donna Shalala also condemned Ms Omar's rhetoric.

Breitbart News reported ZOA President Morton Klein said in a statement Monday: "These tweets below from Rep. Ilhan Omar, along with several comments that she has made over the years are pure, unadulterated anti-Semitism". In Nov. 2012, Omar tweeted about the alleged "evil doings of Israel" saying "Israel has hypnotized the world".

Generally speaking, Americans tend to be pro-Israel thanks to acute and widespread awareness of the Holocaust and of Jewish statelessness as one of the principal reasons the Holocaust occurred (you could contrast this, by the way, with the average Americans very limited awareness of Palestinian history). She suggested her comments were being weaponized by the GOP: "We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies". That's the goal of the BDS - boycott, divest and sanction - movement that Omar and her fellow Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of MI support.

New Jersey's Josh Gottheimer said Omar hasn't accepted his offer to meet with her to talk about the damage that can be done by reinforcing negative tropes.

"No, criticism of Israel isn't anti-semitism, just like criticism of a Muslim majority state isn't Islamophobia, by default".

Fox 9 has reached out to Omar's office for comment.

Omar's tweets drew a rebuke from Democratic House leaders, who called on her to apologize on Monday.

Omar, 36, acknowledged the criticism in her Twitter message on Monday. "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".

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