Politics

Ilhan Omar Controversy

I know this is coming out relatively late, but I thought this subject so important to talk about. In case you haven’t heard there has been a bi-partisan freak out on Congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota due to her comments on Israel.

The freak out over her comments have been ridiculous. Measures were pushed through congress to condemn antisemitism and bigotry in response to Omar’s comments. On top of that headline after headline and talking point after talking point has been about Omar’s comments and condemenation has come from both Republicans and Democrats. But what exactly did she say that was so bad?

Well there are a couple things. And I’ll quote them all below.

Another example is from a 2012 Tweet that I can’t find nor find a whole quote but the jist of it is that she claimed Israel hypnotizes the world for it to have more support than it is due.

There is another deleted Tweet of hers where she replies to someone asking why Israel gets so much American support to which she replied “AIPAC” which is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

And people have gone absolutely crazy over these Tweets. Jonathan Greenblat of the ADL says

Let’s be clear: The problem isn’t that Omar criticized Israeli policies. The problem is her comments were anti-Semitic. Accusing Jews of having allegiance to a foreign government has long been a vile anti-Semitic slur used to harass, marginalize and persecute the Jewish people for centuries.

Okay Jonathan, when the leader Democratic Minority leader Charles Schumer said in a speech to AIPAC “for as long as I live, for as long as I have the privilege of serving in the Senate from New York, I will unflinchingly, unstintingly and with all of my strength be Shomer Yisrael, a guardian of Israel.” Is that not having dual loyalties? Or what about Democratic House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi saying that even if the US capitol fell, we would still give aide to Israel?

What if Taiwanese immigrant congressman Ted Lieu said in a speech “I am the guardian of Taiwan” would that not be problematic? What if a congressman of Irish decent said “I am the protector of Ireland”? Is that not clearly dual loyalties? If I was an executive of Walmart and I said “I am the guardian of Target” would I not be immediately fired? If Donalnd Trump said “Even if Washington DC falls we will still continue our commitment of aide to Russia” he would be impeached for collusion. If these are all problematic then why is it antisemetic for Omar to apply the same standard to Jews and Israel?

If you’re a congressman in America then you’re supposed to, in theory at least, defend the interest of America first and foremost and not say that your job is to protect another country we have no ties to. It’s one thing if Greece said something like that to Cyprus whom they share a strong ethnic, historical, cultural, linguistic and could easily be merged into the same country (Turkish problem aside). However it’s another when a country thousands of miles away that did not even exist until the late 1940’s and has very little in common with America.
 

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