Were Ilhan Omar’s Comments on Israel Anti-Semitic?
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FEATURING ARIEL GOLD – Minnesota’s freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has raised the ire of Congressional representatives in both parties with her pointed critique of Israel and the Israeli lobby. When she made the point on Twitter that campaign donations from the Israeli lobby group AIPAC spurs the vehemently pro-Israel positions of some members of Congress, she was singled out for being “anti-Semitic.”
Omar, who along with Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim woman in Congress, is also the first woman to wear a hijab, and the first Somali American member of Congress. Both have come under intense scrutiny from an Administration and party that has used Islamophobia to score political points.
In a tweet on Monday Omar was forced to apologize for her comments, writing, “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.” She added, “I unequivocally apologize,” but also said, “At the same time I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics.”
Ariel Gold, national co-director of CODEPINK. She manages the organization’s campaigns for Palestinian rights.