The American Jewish Congress condemns recently-elected Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for her anti-Semitic comments. Rep. Omar is often highlighted as one of the first Muslim women elected into Congress, which is worthy of celebration. Her history of anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-Israel political stances, however, should concern the Jewish American community and indeed all Americans.
This Sunday, she reignited our concerns when she suggested on Twitter that the United States’ support for Israel is all about Jewish money. As a response to House Minority Leader Kevin McCathy’s statement that he will act against her and fellow Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for their anti-Israel vitriol, Omar suggested that Congressional support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins,” then clarified in a follow-up tweet that she believes AIPAC is responsible for buying Congressional support for Israel.
Suggesting that Jews manipulate our government, through monetary means or otherwise, is a classic anti-Semitic trope that has been used to harm Jews for hundreds of years. This is not the first time Omar has employed such a trope; in the past, she tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” for which she recently apologized and claimed she did not understand its implication. But when she uses these sorts of tropes consistently, it becomes progressively harder to give her the benefit of the doubt. In light of this, we urge her fellow Congressmen and women to reconsider her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“This latest comment from Congresswoman Omar should disturb us all,” said American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen. “Not only is this deeply offensive, but it also shows that a U.S. Congresswoman fails to understand the American values, security interests, and many other factors that make the U.S.-Israel relationship so important. Such ignorance on our foreign policy would be troubling for any Member of Congress, let alone one who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
The American Jewish Congress is calling upon Americans, and especially those in Rep. Omar’s constituency, to contact Rep. Omar’s office and let her know that statements such as these do not belong in Congress. By calling 202-225-4755, we can encourage her to reflect on her problematic stances and hopefully become a better representative for the American people.
American Jewish Congress