US Muslim lawmaker's tweet sparks anti-Semitism charges




US House Democrat Ilhan Omar faces intensifying criticism after she tweeted on February 10, 2019 insinuating that US congressional support for Israel is fuled by funding from pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC
US House Democrat Ilhan Omar faces intensifying criticism after she tweeted on February 10, 2019 insinuating that US congressional support for Israel is fuled by funding from pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC  

Washington (AFP) - Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in the US Congress, drew stern rebukes from Republicans and fellow Democrats Monday after suggesting US support for Israel is fueled by money from the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.

The Minnesota freshman has faced criticism for weeks over her positions on the Jewish state, but it boiled over late Sunday after she reacted to a Republican critic in a tweet.

"It's all about the Benjamins baby," Omar replied, referring to American $100 bills featuring the likeness of Benjamin Franklin.

When a user asked who Omar believes is paying US politicians to support Israel, the former Somali refugee tweeted a one-word response: "AIPAC!"

The exchanges triggered an uproar. Democrat Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee of which Omar is a member, said: "Anti-Semitism in any form is unacceptable, and it's shocking to hear a Member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of 'Jewish money.'"

Liz Cheney, a top Republican leader in the House of Representatives, urged Democratic leaders to "condemn this anti-Semitism" and remove Omar from the committee.

Two Democratic lawmakers circulated a letter addressed to Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging them to take "swift action" against anti-Semitic language by members.

The letter's authors, representatives Josh Gottheimer and Elaine Luria, who are both Jewish, did not mention Omar by name, but the target of their anger was clear.

"We must speak out when any Member -- Democrat or Republican -- uses harmful tropes and stereotypes, levels accusations of dual loyalty, or makes reckless statements like those yesterday," they wrote.

Omar has been critical of Israel's government over its treatment of Palestinians. She has supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement which aims to put economic and political pressure on Israel.

Omar and fellow Muslim congressional freshman Rashida Tlaib's support for the boycott has opened a breach in the Democratic Party and threatens to create a fissure in the ironclad US-Israeli alliance.

At least a dozen lawmakers have openly criticized Omar, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the first Jewish congresswoman elected from Florida.

Omar's "tweets implying that American support for Israel is driven by money, rather than shared interests and values, are alarming, offensive and disturbing," Wasserman Schultz said.

Last month Omar expressed regret for saying in a 2012 tweet that Israel "has hypnotized the world" while carrying out "evil."

COMMENTS

More Related News

Don
Don't bet on Congress fixing America's police problems

Ambitious proposals from House Democrats are likely to run into a wall in the Republican-led Senate.

Amid Protests and Pandemic, Congress Faces a $1 Trillion Decicion
Amid Protests and Pandemic, Congress Faces a $1 Trillion Decicion

The nation is being rocked by protests, grappling with endemic racial injustice and still struggling to cope with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its fallout. As disturbingly turbulent as the situation is, The Washington Post's Jeff Stein and Erica Werner warn that the toxic stew of troubles now boiling over in city after city could be further catalyzed by a looming "fiscal cliff" that threatens to abruptly withdraw $1 trillion in emergency economic support provided by Congress to millions of Americans - or by the political battles surrounding the costly choices lawmakers face.At the very least, the protests - and the political clashes they have sparked between the White House and...

Israel Believes Assad
Israel Believes Assad's Syria Is Restarting Its Chemical Weapons Programs

Bad news for the people of Syria.

7 Races To Watch On The First Big Primary Day Of The Pandemic
7 Races To Watch On The First Big Primary Day Of The Pandemic

The coronavirus electoral pause ends Tuesday with major races in Iowa, New Mexico and Maryland.

Pompeo: U.S. Could Make Moves Against International Criminal Court In "Coming Days"
Pompeo: U.S. Could Make Moves Against International Criminal Court In "Coming Days"

"I think that the ICC and the world will see that we are determined to prevent having Americans and our friends and allies in Israel and elsewhere hauled in by this corrupt ICC."

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America