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Ilhan Omar Tweets Anti-Semitic Tropes

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar speaks at a protest against President Trump's 'deportation force' Feb. 7, 2019 (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar speaks at a protest against President Trump’s ‘deportation force’ Feb. 7, 2019 (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Less than a month since her “apology” for previous anti-Semitic statements, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted out more anti-Semitic tropes.

Commenting on the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, Omar wrote, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.”

Omar was referring to Jewish money (“Benjamins” being $100 bills) and its assumed influence on American politicians, a common anti-Semitic trope.

In response, Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor of The Forward tweeted, “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.”

“AIPAC!” tweeted Omar, managing to reply with yet another seemingly anti-Semitic comment. AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies.

Omar’s comments caused outrage on Capitol Hill.

The Republican Jewish Coalition called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to take action, asking if Democrats would “care to comment on the outrageous anti-Semitism being spewed by one of your fêted members?”

Democratic Congressman Max Rose, a freshmen from New York), tweeted, “When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes against people of any faith, I will not be silent. Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.”

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley also weighed in, tweeting, “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.”

Last week, Republican Kevin McCarthy, House minority leader, called on the Democratic Party to take disciplinary action against Omar as well as Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for their comments about Israel that were anti-Semitic. Both of the newly-elected congresswomen are pro-BDS, the Boycott, Divest and Sanction Movement against Israel that falls under the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism.

Democrats appointed Omar to the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. Tlaib was appointed to Financial Services committee.

“There’s situations in our conference where a member does something that is wrong — I think you’ve seen from my own actions that I take action about it,” McCarthy said, referring to his censure of fellow Republican Congressman Steve King after King asked in an interview when the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became offensive.

“I think when they stay silent, they are just as guilty,” McCarthy added.

Last week, Omar called for the complete defunding of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). “Let’s stand firm; #Not1Dollar for DHS,” she tweeted. Referring to President Trump as Individual 1, she called the idea of a barrier on the U.S.’ southern border a “hateful wall.”

Earlier in the week, Omar wrote a letter to USA Powerlifting advocating against the organization’s policy of excluding biological males who identify as transgender females from completing with women.

Omar said it was “myth” that biological men who identify as women have a “direct competitive advantage” in such competitions, The Daily Caller reported.

Omar wrote the letter on behalf of JayCee Cooper, a constituent who is a biological male but identifies as a female. She also recommended that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison investigate the organization’s “discriminatory behavior.

In response, Roukaya Almougrabi, an Arab-Israeli Muslim woman who is a world champion in the sport and who has been featured on Clarion Project, said,

“Why is this discrimination? She has the body of a man. Even if a woman takes steroids, it is still not the same as competing with a man. It’s totally different and it’s not fair that I would have to compete with someone who is biologically a man.

“Sometimes when I compete, it’s against women who use steroids, and I don’t. It’s a total bummer. But I compete anyway. But if my rival would be a man and not a woman, that would be even more unfair. And I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Almost 100 percent of competitors agree.

“As a human being and as an Arab Muslim, I accept transgenders, gays, lesbians. The fact that I’m a Muslim doesn’t give me the right to criticize anyone. We accept and we embrace them. It’s not discrimination.

“Yet, it would be discrimination if someone like that competes. I spoke with a judge about this, and she told me about a transgender woman who wanted to compete and they wouldn’t let her. The woman said it’s wrong that she can’t compete. The judge told her that she could compete, but only with fellow transgenders and that would be fair.”

 

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