In a speech where she attempted to critique the role of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other lobbying groups’ roles in helping shape foreign policy, Represenative Ilhan Omar, (D-Minn.), sent a Tweet what was perceived by many as anti-Semitic.
Omar singled out AIPAC however which put her in the crosshairs and although she has already apologized for the clunky delivery Omar maintains that there is far too much lobbying money controlling both parties.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar said Monday. “This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
Listening and learning, but standing strong 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/7TSroSf8h1— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Trump described the apology as “lame,” according to The Associated Press. “Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress,” Trump said Tuesday. “I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the Foreign Affairs Committee.”She also said, “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry,” said NPR.
AIPAC is a non-profit that doesn’t donate directly to candidates.
“[They do], however, relentlessly push a pro-Israeli message on Capitol Hill and inside the executive branch, and its members donate to pro-Israel lawmakers and candidates while seeking to defeat those it considers a threat to U.S.-Israeli relations,” says Politico.
Both Omar and Michigan’s freshman Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib — are the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress and have signaled their support for the Palestinian-led BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against the Israeli government over its treatment of its Palestinian population.
The BDS movement according to their own website, “works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.”
Trump’s call for her resignation is rich to say the least.
It was after all the 45th President, whose initial response to the anti-semitic and white nationalists’ actions at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville Virginia that many saw as a “dog whistle” to white nationalists that he supported them.
Trump’s response to the rally and ensuing riot, which resulted in the death of Heather D. Heyer and injured 19 others in August of 2017, was a call for Americans to understand that there are “many sides, on many sides.”
The outrage over Omar began on Sunday, in a response to a tweet about how she and Tlaib could face action over criticizing Israel.
Omar said, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” When asked who she thought was paying lawmakers, she replied: “AIPAC!”
It’s all about the Benjamins baby 🎶 https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
As Ezra Klein at Vox noted in a tweet however: “It’s a bit about the benjamins, but it’s about a lot of things, including Twitter and Republicans strategically exploiting tensions in the Democratic coalition.
It’s a bit about the benjamins, but it’s about a lot of things, including Twitter and Republicans strategically exploiting tensions in the Democratic coalition https://t.co/yZzRqmmELW— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) February 11, 2019
Comedian Matt Lieb reminded us on Twitter : “In case anyone needed a reminder that the right wing uses love of Israel to whitewash their own antisemitism, here’s a video I made about it a year ago.”
Watch it below.
By Leopaltik1242 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Why – across America – some people are simultaneously anti-Jew and pro-Israel. From our comedy team. pic.twitter.com/h78JmBk635— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 27, 2018