March 5, 2019

Ilhan Omar Under Fire

“Leading House Democrats will offer a resolution Wednesday condemning anti-Semitism in response to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s latest remarks on Israel.” Omar was criticized after “remarks suggesting American supporters of Israel are pushing people to have ‘allegiance to a foreign country.’” AP News

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From the Left

The left is divided, with many accusing her of spreading anti-semitic tropes, while some contend that her remarks are being taken out of context.

Critics posit that “Muslims, more than any other group in the United States, are routinely accused of disloyalty. For Omar to turn around and use the same trope against others boggles the mind… Part of the far-right’s anti-Muslim bigotry is the slander that Muslims can’t hold office and won’t respect U.S. justice because they are loyal to Sharia law…

“The age-old ‘dual loyalty’ slander against American Jews is similar… Most American Jews are little more pleased with Israel’s current policies than Omar is. But those who support Israel’s policies aren’t disloyal to America. When Omar questions their patriotism, she is reading from the same bigoted playbook that launched Trump.”
Dana Milbank, Washington Post

These are specific and charged words, talking about a foreign ‘allegiance.’ ‘Allegiance’ has a specific and almost always exclusive meaning. If you look up the biography of a military leader you’ll see the country they serve is referred to as their 'allegiance.' It doesn’t [mean] ‘support’ or ‘consistent support’ or even ‘lockstep support’...

“Omar should be able to express criticism of Israeli policies and US policies of support toward the Israeli government without repeatedly waltzing into claims about dual loyalties or foreign allegiances… At this point, if it’s a confusion or misunderstanding it seems either willful or ingrained.”
Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo

Others, however, argue that “the mainstream political establishment in the United States demands support and loyalty with regard to Israel, and that is all Omar was saying. Did we all forget that, just a few weeks ago, the Senate, in a 77-23 vote, passed a bill that included a highly constitutionally dubious provision allowing local governments to punish companies that back a boycott of Israel?”
Jack Mirkinson, Splinter

Some ask: “Has Aipac — founded more than 50 years ago to ‘strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship’ — become too powerful? And with that power, has Aipac warped the policy debate over Israel so drastically that dissenting voices are not even allowed to be heard?”
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times

From the Right

The right condemns Omar’s comments and is calling for her removal from the House foreign affairs committee.

From the Right

The right condemns Omar’s comments and is calling for her removal from the House foreign affairs committee.

“Omar is right that it is entirely legitimate to criticize U.S. policy towards Israel, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is her repeated suggestion that support for the current policy toward Israel is the product of Jewish money buying support and/or Jews who are more loyal to Israel’s interests than they are to those of the United States. Those claims are false and bigoted.”
Henry Olsen, Washington Post

American support for Israel is due to “shared values: liberal democracy, religious tolerance, a free press. These are values that contrast sharply with those of Israel’s neighbors — including the Palestinians. Moreover, Americans respect Israel because of its amazing success — politically, militarily, economically, and especially technologically. And Americans also respect Israel as a haven for oppressed Jews worldwide.”
Joel Pollak, Breitbart

“Jewish Americans by and large support Israel not out of ‘allegiance’ to Israel but because Israel protects victimized Jews all over the world, represents the sole liberal democracy in the Middle East, and provides valuable strategic partnership to the United States. But according to Omar and other anti-Semites, the only reason for American Jews to support Israel is because they are part of a secret club, disloyal to the United States and loyal only to the ethnic tribe.”
Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire

“Many efforts have been made to quietly address concerns with Omar in her district, in the halls of Congress, and by Democratic leaders. And no one is shutting down any debate. Omar and Tlaib haven’t themselves sought to debate ideas as much as vilify large groups of their own countrymen who think differently… How many anti-Semitic comments can Omar make before she’s ejected from the House Foreign Affairs Committee?”
Melissa Braunstein, The Federalist

“[Democrats] should name her in the resolution… A generic statement denouncing anti-semitism would be not just toothless but practically a gift to Omar: She’d vote for it, claiming that she never meant to impugn all Jews (just the ones who support Israel!), and would then point back to that vote any time in the future that she’s accused of anti-semitism.”
Allahpundit, Hot Air

On the bright side...

Man lost in snow for five days survived on Taco Bell sauce packets.
Fox 29

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