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Dear Rep. Ilhan Omar: Just Admit You Are a Blatant Anti-Semite Who Hates Israel and the Jews

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) speaks during a press conference

Someone needs to teach Representative Omar of Minnesota the meaning of irony.

This freshman representative who spent so much time castigating Israel and repeatedly making anti-Semitic remarks had the audacity this past week to claim that she is fighting against anti-Semitism.  This same woman who continually tries to perpetuate the anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews being money hungry and “all about the Benjamins” has now said (with a straight face) that she cannot fight against Islamophobia if she is “not willing to fight against anti-Semitism.”

In speaking of Israel, she has previously said, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”  She has repeatedly tried to perpetuate the stereotype that Jews have “dual loyalty," and ignorantly tried to portray AIPAC as a Republican funding machine even though it is bipartisan, definitely not Republican-focused, and is dedicated to disseminating accurate information about Israel (the PAC's initials stand for Public Affairs Committee not Political Action Committee). She proudly spoke at a rally sponsored by Black Lives Matter, an organization that supports the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction against Israel). BDS is arguably the most anti-Semitic coordinated practice since the Nazis and the Holocaust, and she is personally a passionate supporter of it and BLM. And yet, in her speech at this BLM rally, she claimed that President Trump and his allies are “creating monsters”  that are “terrorizing the Jewish community.” Ms. Omar, as a Jewish leader, let me explain that it is you, BLM, and the supporters of the BDS movement who are the monsters terrorizing our people.

In her recent speech at this rally, she claimed that “ when we are talking about anti-Semitism we must also talk about Islamophobia. They are two sides of the same coin of bigotry.” Ms. Omar, you should probably take an undergraduate class in theology. Anti-Semitism traces its roots back for 2,000 years. Some of it is based upon mistranslations of the Vulgate (a translation of the Bible that was used up through the late 20th century that has now been thoroughly rejected and that, through a mistranslation, says that Moses has horns) and the mistaken assumption that the ancient Jewish establishment killed Jesus; perpetuated by the “blood libel” started in 1144 in Norwich, England; and includes the Spanish persecutions and ultimately the Holocaust of the last century. Islamophobia is a horrible form of prejudice, but really only began in this century with the attacks of September 11. Modern Islamophobia is the result of jihadist terrorists continually attacking civilians in free nations, and not a theological issue that goes back thousands of years.

You, Ms. Omar are the blatant anti-Semite who continually demonstrates your hatred for Jews and Israel through your words and actions.  The hypocrisy of the recent speech you gave in front of a group that has also established itself as anti-Semitic is astounding and filled with hubris, and an incredibly poor reflection on Congress and your constituents.

Maybe irony isn’t the most accurate word. What you have, in the worst of ways, is chutzpah.

Rabbi Michael Barclay is the Spiritual leader of Temple Ner Simcha (www.NerSimcha.org), and the author of “Sacred Relationships:  Biblical Wisdom for Deepening Our Lives Together”.  He can be reached directly at [email protected]