Rep. Ilhan Omar faces backlash over AIPAC comments

Sergio Conner
February 11, 2019

The American Jewish Committee promptly responded to Omar, also on Twitter, positing that: "Suggesting that a Jewish organization is buying off American politicians is both demonstrably false and stunningly anti-Semitic".

Fellow freshman Democratic Rep. Max Rose of NY called the comments "deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself", according to Politico.

Omar's remarks drew immediate rebukes, including from Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former president Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. "She might as well call us hook-nosed". "Bad form, Congresswoman. That's the second anti-Semitic trope you've tweeted", Batya Ungar-Sargon, Omar responded: "AIPAC!".

It started when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) threatened to take action against Omar and another freshman lawmaker, Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), over allegedly anti-Semitic remarks. Omar wrote, "It's all about the Benjamins baby".

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Adrian Zenz, lecturer at the European School of Culture and Theology, said the comments from Turkey are a "major new development".

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She added: "I know that if we saw that in another society we would criticize it - we do that to Iran and any other place that upholds its religion".

In response, Omar tweeted "AIPAC!" referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which regularly has been accused by progressives of agitating for a conflict with Iran. "And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith". "What she's insinuating or implying directly is that Jewish money is somehow controlling certain Democrats and people's positions toward Israel, '" Berman said. 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. "But to go a step further and retweet someone declaring their pain at her sentiment is simply unacceptable".

"We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the US-Israel relationship", tweeted AIPAC.

Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, speaks during a press conference calling on Congress to cut funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to defund border detention facilities, outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, February 7.

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