(Washington, D.C.) — An ugly series of anti-Semitic statements have erupted from freshman Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, triggering global headlines and denunciations of her by top Democrat leaders.
Ms. Omar is living the American Dream. A Muslim born in war-torn Somalia, she and her family immigrated to the United States when she was a child. She became a naturalized citizen, grew up in the Midwest, and now serves in the most powerful legislative body on the planet. It’s a beautiful personal story, yet she has chosen to leverage it against Jewish Americans.
Among the statements that are drawing fire from Democrats and Republicans alike:
- “Israel has hypnotized the world — may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
- “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” she recently Tweeted, referring to the image of Benjamin Franklin on the $100 bill and accusing American lawmakers who support Israel as only doing so because they’re being paid. A Jewish reporter Tweeted back, “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.” Rep. Omar then wrote: “AIPAC!” The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is the most influential U.S. lobby group supporting the Israeli government.
- “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Rep. Omar then said in a town hall forum, accusing Jewish Americans who love and support Israel as having a “dual loyalty” — having an allegiance to Israel and not to America — and thus duplicitous and illegitimate.
“Something has seriously wrong with the Congresswoman,” I said on an interview on Fox News on Wednesday night. “I mean, she has a great story, a great personal story, and yet she has unleashed of remarks. And let me just quote from the Democratic leadership — ‘vile, hateful, hurtful, classically anti-Semitic’ — I could go on. And that’s just from Speaker Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Eliot Engel, and I agree with them. And she has apologized, except that she keeps doing it. There needs to be a penalty for this. They need to take her Foreign Affairs Committee seat to make it clear this is not business as usual. This is really ugly behavior, and you don’t want it permeating the Democratic Party.”
Since that interview, things have gotten worse. The Democratic leadership was set to pass a resolution this week denouncing anti-Semitism. Yet Speaker Pelosi began to equivocate on the language in the resolution after many Democrat Congressmen and women defended Rep. Omar. At the moment, it’s not clear a resolution will be brought to the floor at all, and if it is, it apparently won’t name Rep. Omar.
This is appalling. If Speaker Pelosi and her fellow Democratic leaders don’t have the moral clarity to take a firm stand against clear-cut anti-Semitism — especially when 70% of Jewish Americans vote Democrat — do they have any red lines at all?
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