News & Politics

Rep. Ilhan Omar: Anti-Semitic to the Bone

Rep. Ilhan Omar: Anti-Semitic to the Bone
(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Rep. Ilhan Omar is once again under fire for using an anti-Semitic trope about the “dual loyalty” of supporters of Israel.

It’s beginning to look like her anti-Semitism is embedded so deeply that she has no conscious thought about Israel and Jews that doesn’t drip with Jew-hatred.

She said this during a town hall meeting in Washington:

What I’m fearful of — because Rashida [Tlaib] and I are Muslim — that a lot of our Jewish colleagues, a lot of our constituents, a lot of our allies, go to thinking that everything we say about Israel to be anti-Semitic because we are Muslim.

Not everything. Just those things you say that are blatantly anti-Semitic.

To me, it’s something that becomes designed to end the debate because you get in this space of – yes, I know what intolerance looks like and I’m sensitive when someone says, “The words you used, Ilhan, are resemblance of intolerance.” And I am cautious of that and I feel pained by that. But it’s almost as if, every single time we say something regardless of what it is we say… we get to be labeled something. And that ends the discussion. Because we end up defending that and nobody ever gets to have the broader debate of what is happening with Palestine.

“What is happening with Palestine” is an entirely different matter than this. Omar concluded:

So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.

So voicing support for Israel — or talking to members of Congress about supporting Israel or urging my neighbors to support Israel — is the same thing as telling people to give their allegiance to Israel?

She’s dumber than she looks.

In truth, this sort of anti-Semitism historically presaged trials for treason. It was a major excuse used by Hitler to gas six million Jews. It is vile, nauseating, and ignorant — and for Omar to use the smear so casually is shocking in the 21st century.

You can debate Israel-Palestinian issues without being an anti-Semite. It’s a strawman argument to claim that “every single time we say something” about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it’s branded anti-Semitic.

Omar’s anti-Semitism is subconscious. She claims to be “sensitive” to “intolerance,” but really hasn’t a clue that when she equates support for Israel with allegiance to Israel, she is smearing millions of American Jews.

The Republicans in Congress removed Rep. Steve King from his committee assignments for his racist remarks. Will Democrats dare remove a black Muslim woman from the Committee on Foreign Relations? Taking Omar off the committee won’t solve the party’s anti-Semitism problem, but it would show their Jewish constituents they are at least trying.