Ilhan Omar: Congresswoman accused of 'anti-Semitic' tweet

Blanche Robertson
February 11, 2019

"We are deeply alarmed by recent rhetoric from certain members within our caucus, including just last night, that has disparaged us and called into question our loyalty to our nation", they wrote in the letter.

Omar made the comment in a tweet on Sunday evening American time sparking immediate backlash, with tweeters accusing Omar of going down a slippery slop by linking AIPAC with the negative antisemitic stereotype of Jewish people's false obsession with money. Omar raised over $1 million for her freshman campaign a year ago, including from unions and from Emily's List, a group that seeks increased participation by women in politics.

Omar sidetracked the conversation, ignoring the direct criticism for her antisemitic remarks. Congresswoman Omar's statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself. On Friday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., urged Democratic leadership to admonish Omar and Tlaib due to their backing for the BDS movement, which is meant to put economic pressure on Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank.

"It's all about the Benjamins baby", Omar tweeted Sunday in reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

Republicans and Democrats alike said the tweets stoked anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money.

Aipac's website says it offers a congressional club membership that requires "political contributions in a clearly pro-Israel context to candidates".

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Omar doubled down on her notion that Jews pay lawmakers to be pro-Israel and tweeted that "AIPAC" is an example.

Neither Omar's office in Minnesota nor in Washington immediately responded for comment to Newsweek when asked about the tweet, which appears to invoke an old anti-Semitic stereotype portraying Jews as rich, and using their wealth to orchestrate political affairs.

But the tweet was swiftly condemned by high-profile figures on both sides of the aisle, including a former USA ambassador to Israel and Chelsea Clinton, whose husband is Jewish.

Aipac spends millions of dollars a year lobbying lawmakers and the United States federal government to adopt pro-Israel policies, according to campaign-finance monitors. "This is anti-Semitic", Daily Wire journalist Kassy Dillon wrote. I know Congresswoman Omar.

She was subsequently criticized by prominent public figures including Chelsea Clinton. "And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith", Omar wrote. "The Congresswoman's statements do not live up to that do not live up to that cherished ideal", Rose said.

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