US congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a famed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporter, pointed an accusatory finger at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), saying the organization is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.
Omar made the comment in a tweet on Sunday evening American time sparking immediate backlash, with tweeters accusing Omar of going down a slippery slop by linking AIPAC with the negative antisemitic stereotype of Jewish people’s false obsession with money. She was posting in response to a tweet by follower Glenn Greenwald, who wrote that “it’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”
“It’s all about the Benjamins [sic] baby,” wrote Omar.
Later, Twitter user Batya Ungar-Sargon, an opinion editor for the Forward, wrote, “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess. Bad form, Congresswoman. That’s the second anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted.”
Instead of clearing the air about the previous antisemitic post, Omar continued with a response: “AIPAC!”
Omar received both mild and serious backlash for her posts.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) February 11, 2019
— Matt Brooks (@mbrooksrjc) February 11, 2019
To see this at the UN was a fight every day. This CANNOT be tolerated in our own Congress by anyone of either party. In a time of increased anti semitism, we all must be held to account. No excuses. ❤️🇺🇸 #NoSpaceForHate#NoToleranceForAntiSemitism #WhatIsHappeningWithPeople https://t.co/zUaNjp3hHo
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 11, 2019
Comedian Sarah Silverman responded, “I truly don’t think she meant it that way AT ALL, but I’m surprised she’s earnestly not aware of the people that will absolutely take it that way…”
Other responses were more critical, including that of Chelsea Clinton, who wrote, “We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in antisemitism.”
Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 11, 2019
Soon after, Omar responded to Clinton, saying, “Chelsea – I would be happy to talk. We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith.”
Omar sidetracked the conversation, ignoring the direct criticism for her antisemitic remarks.
👋🏽 Chelsea – I would be happy to talk. We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith.
I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you. 💪🏽 https://t.co/EGA9NQfBCi
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Max Rose, New York democratic congressman, responded to Omar, as well.
“Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself,’ he wrote. “Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive enough. But to go a step further and retweet someone declaring their pain at her sentiment is simply unacceptable.”
“At a time when anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, our leaders should not be invoking hurtful stereotypes and caricatures of Jewish people to dismiss those who support Israel,” Rose continued. “In the Democratic party – and in the United States of America – we celebrate the diversity of our people, and the Gods we pray to, as a strength.”
Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself. pic.twitter.com/u3f2JHESFA
— Max Rose (@MaxRose4NY) February 11, 2019
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