The American Jewish Congress condemns Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5) for invoking antisemitic tropes in her campaign materials.

As she tries to fend off a difficult primary challenge, Rep. Omar attacked Antone Melton-Meaux, her primary opponent, for large donations he has received from donors outside the district, identifying by name only three donors – all of whom are Jewish. By deliberately mentioning only Jewish donors by name, painting Mr. Melton-Meaux as being in their “pocket,” and questioning whether the voters can “trust Melton-Meaux’s money,” the campaign flyer risks invoking age-old antisemitic myths that wealthy Jews control politicians and the government through money and influence.

Rep. Omar has a long history of controversial and antisemitic remarks. Last year, Rep. Omar implied that Jews are “buying” support for Israel. She has also suggested that support for Israel constitutes “allegiance” to a foreign country, invoking the hurtful “dual loyalty” trope that has been used to persecute and harm Jews. Rep. Omar’s comments last year prompted the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a resolution condemning antisemitism and other forms of hate.

It is reprehensible that Rep. Omar continues to target Jews, despite repeated attempts, including from Minnesota’s local Jewish community, to educate her on the consternation caused by her racist comments. By continuing to traffic in antisemitic tropes, Rep. Omar is not only showing a lack of willingness to build bridges in her district, but that she is also seeking to fan the flames of antisemitism among her constituents. This cannot be tolerated. 

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.