Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks during a press conference outside the DFL Headquarters
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks during a press conference outside the DFL Headquarters
Photo: AFP
Rep. Ilhan Omar

Left-wing U.S. Jewish group endorses Ilhan Omar's re-election bid

IfNotNow organization laments racism directed at Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota, slams other Jewish groups for supporting her Democratic primary challenger, accusing the 'far-right' of manipulating 'Jewish fear'

Ynet, i24NEWS |
Published: 08.06.20 , 14:47
The left-wing Jewish IfNotNow organization has endorsed controversial Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's bid for re-election as a representative for Minnesota and accused other Jewish groups of fear-mongering against the Muslim lawmaker.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter
  • In its announcement, the left-wing group said it rejected "the racism and Islamophobia that Ilhan faces every day."
    Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks during a press conference outside the DFL Headquarters Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks during a press conference outside the DFL Headquarters
    Rep. Ilhan Omar
    (Photo: AFP)
    "In particular, we reject the attacks from those on the far-right, who cynically manipulate Jewish fear to slander her and other advocates for Palestinian rights and social justice," the group added.
    The group also lashed out at other Jewish groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for their support for Omar's rival in the local Democratic primary this month, attorney Antone Melton-Meaux.
    "This strategy failed in New York and it will fail in Minneapolis," the group said, in an apparent reference to Jewish veteran New York congressman Eliot Engel, who last month lost in his own primary to progressive newcomer Jamaal Bowman.
    Omar has come under criticism for her comments about Jewish people, including tweets last year saying that members of Congress were being paid by a powerful interest group to support Israel.
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Ilhan Omar (D-MN)Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Ilhan Omar (D-MN)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Ilhan Omar
    (Photo: AP)
    The tweets led to a demand by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Omar to apologize.
    "Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive," Pelosi said in a statement issued by her office and signed by other Democratic leaders after a bipartisan backlash against the Minnesota Democrat.
    "We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments."
    IfNotNow is a youth-oriented movement campaigning to "end Israel’s occupation and transform the American Jewish community," according to its website.
    It has previously signed off a letter urging presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to ensure he does not give foreign policy and national security roles to anyone who opposes Americans' right to boycott foreign products - a tactic of choice for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.
    תמונת ג'ו ביידן נואםתמונת ג'ו ביידן נואם
    Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden
    (Photo: AP)
    The group also campaigned against Israel's push to annex areas of the West Bank, a prospect that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists is still on the table, despite the government's own July 1 deadline to begin moves in this direction passing without any policy announcements. 
    Talkbacks for this article 0