The anti-Semitic tweet by US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar about the Israeli lobby AIPAC buying politicians with money continues to stir up a storm. It is interesting that Israel bothers her more than Somalia, where she was born and whence she fled. A massacre has been going in the African nation for dozens of years, primarily in the name of jihad.
But criticizing jihad won't make the congresswoman more popular, while attacks on Israel will earn her far more favor in progressive circles.
It's all about the Benjamins baby https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
Omar apologized – after a request to do so by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one the most senior members of the Democratic Party.
“Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive,” said a statement signed by Pelosi. The Speaker added that while criticism of Israel is legitimate, anti-Semitic propaganda like the views expressed by Omar is not.
To appreciate that the tweet was anti-Semitic, one must understand the background, who Omar's enthusiastic supporters are, and why this tweet was pure propaganda and manipulation. The Minnesota lawmaker is an avid supporter of the BDS movement - the most prominent anti-Semitic body in the world today, which is supported by the extreme right and the far-left. The organization that denies the right to exist for just one state from in the entire world - the Jewish state. That is precisely why Omar's tweet energized the members of the anti-Semitic coalition: Islamists, the extreme left and the extreme right. Omar has her supporters in Israel, too and we will get to them shortly.
The first to leap to Omar's defense was David Duke, the former KKK head and one of the leaders of the white supremacy movement in the United States. Next — of course — came the BDS-supporting Jews like the Jewish Voice for Peace, which launched a social media support campaign using the hashtag #IStandWithIlhan. Another supporter of Omar is M.J. Rosenberg, a journalist and political activist who freely used the phrase "Israel Firsters" to describe American Jews who put Israel's interests over those of the United States.
American Jews have power, which stems from the fact that they are more educated, richer and more involved. They have established many different organizations, of which AIPAC is just one. They support Israel, but not necessarily the Israeli government.
AIPAC, for example, is not enthusiastic about the settlement enterprise, and in 2018 the Yesha Council of Settlers was forced to hold an event outside the official AIPAC conference, because the pro-Israel lobby did not want to become a pro-settlement lobby. Again, crucially, AIPAC is just one of many Jewish organizations in the US.
J Street may be smaller, but it operates in way similar to AIPAC, including donations to politicians, sending delegations to Israel, and occasionally handing out frightening anti-Israel propaganda and providing a platform for representatives of those bodies leading campaign to demonize Israel. J Street also supported the nuclear agreement with Iran, which AIPAC opposed. In general, the power of American Jews is often directed against Israel.
Jews have a prominent presence in academia and the media. And Jews with both status and influence in these two fields have conducted poisonous campaigns against Israel. Furthermore, Omar and the anti-Semites have no problem with large sums to fund anti-Israel propaganda, such as the huge investments by Qatar and mega-billionaires like Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal in academic institutions in the West. Research in the UK has already determined that this funding is causing radicalization. But Omar and her supporters only have a problem with AIPAC.
Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a proud Muslim woman, made it clear that Omar's statements were anti-Semitic incitement, and she was not alone. Even so, Breaking the Silence CEO Avner Gvaryahu took the trouble to share a damning article on AIPAC by the same M.J. Rosenberg, writing: "A compulsory article for anyone who wants to understand a little of the madness around @IlhanMN, and how the AIPAC apparatus really works." The AIPAC apparatus? Is he serious?
All lobbying bodies work more or less in the same way. J Street boasts that it had "close to $5 million" for funding in the 2018 elections. AIPAC does not directly contribute to campaigns, but rather recommends that its supporters donate. The Democrats got $9.4 million, far higher than the $5.4 million that went to the Republicans.
Omar herself raised $1,073,812 in donations, some of it from lobbying companies. Why is this ok for her but not for others?
American politics lives on donations. Omar's Democrats raised more money than the Republicans. The problem is not about donations. The problem lies in the fact that only donations from pro-Israel sources provoke the anti-Zionist coalition. And that's not just hypocrisy, that's anti-Semitism.