Ilhan Omar attacks pro-Israel lobby and critics again call remarks antisemitic
Washington DC – Speaking on Wednesday night at a forum at a Washington DC bookstore with fellow freshman representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the Minnesota Democrat said she fears everything they say about Israel is construed as antisemitic because they are Muslim. She said that prevents a “broader debate” about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Omar and Tlaib won their seats in November, becoming the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
The comments, which Omar made when the questions turned to her previous criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, were first reported by the website Jewish Insider.
Some Jewish leaders said she then revived an old trope about divided loyalties among Jewish Americans when she said: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Omar added: “I want to ask, ‘Why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the [National Rifle Association], or fossil fuel industries or big pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policy?”’