Nancy Pelosi Accused of Supporting Democrat's Anti-Jewish Campaign
Democratic House speaker remains silents over Ilhan Omar antisemitic comments
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is accused of supporting the anti-Jewish campaign by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as she refuses to condemn the actions of the freshman Democrat.
In her latest antisemitic attack, Omar launched a new volley on Twitter Sunday, accusing a pro-Israel group of corruption by buying influence in Congress.
The newly elected progressive also caused outrage by referring to an offensive Jewish stereotype that even fellow critics of Israel found abhorrent.
Omar's anti-Jewish tirade started early on Sunday when she retweeted a post by Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald, who has long been hostile to Israel.
According to Breitbart, Greenwald had criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for his comments to Breitbart News and other outlets, accusing Democrats of double standards in their reluctance to punish Omar and other Democrats for antisemitic rhetoric when they had eagerly censured Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for racist language.
“Nancy Pelosi has not said a word,” McCarthy told Breitbart News on Saturday.
“So that means she’s supportive of these actions” by Omar.
Last month, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promoted Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, despite controversy about Omar’s past antisemitic rhetoric and her radical anti-Israel foreign policy views.
McCarthy told Breitbart News: “If [Pelosi] does not do something, we will take action on the floor.”
Greenwald tweeted in response that it was “stunning” that McCarthy and Republicans were defending Israel:
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans https://t.co/It1fGm1b70— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 10, 2019
Rep. Omar responded, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” suggesting that politicians had been paid to back Israel.
It's all about the Benjamins baby 🎶 https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor at the left-wing Forward — which is generally critical of Israel — tweeted in response that Omar’s remark was antisemitic.
“That’s the second anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted,” she said, the first being Omar’s 2012 tweet alleging that “Israel has hypnotized the world.”
Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess. Bad form, Congresswoman. That's the second anti-Semitic trope you've tweeted. https://t.co/FTCaCe7WyG— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) February 11, 2019
In response, Omar tweeted simply, “AIPAC!,” referring to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential pro-Israel lobby group that is closely associated with the American Jewish community.
AIPAC! https://t.co/UdzaFUEfrh— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
However, AIPAC is not a political action committee (PAC), and does not donate to, or endorse, candidates.
The claim that AIPAC bribes Congress is a common antisemitic theme among extremists on both the left and the right.
Please learn how to talk about Jews in a non-anti-Semitic way. Sincerely, American Jews. https://t.co/qo3BU2Pqgn— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) February 11, 2019
Other journalists on the left shared their shock and dismay at Omar’s tweet:
Oy...not what I would tweet. pic.twitter.com/SLqy7FyCjh— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 11, 2019
Politico contributing editor Joshua M. Seitz agreed with National Journal political reporter Josh Kraushaar that Omar’s statement was part of a “pattern” of antisemitic rhetoric.
You and I don’t agree on much, or really, anything. But we agree on this one.— Joshua Zeitz (@JoshuaMZeitz) February 11, 2019
Chelsea Clinton tweeted her condemnation of Omar’s rhetoric: “We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.”
Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 11, 2019
Others were also livid:
Supporters of Israel have every right to participate in politics and have their voices heard, and Israel is one of the U.S.’s most valuable allies on the globe, making it worthy of support irrespective of anything else. What @IlhanMN is doing is shameful bigoted hatemongering— (((Michael Koplow))) (@mkoplow) February 11, 2019
At one point, Omar inadvertently retweeted a response by Zeitz in which he had declared: “She might as well call us hook-nosed.”
She later undid the retweet.
Omar later retweeted a supporter who claimed she was merely “accurately describing” the “Israel lobby”:
accurately describing how the Israel lobby works is not anti-semitism https://t.co/30M6rVmeJb— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) February 11, 2019
Not only was Omar’s description of how AIPAC works inaccurate, but the term “Israel lobby” is itself a loaded one, often used in conspiracy theories alleging undue Jewish influence over the U.S. government.