Home World Guardian: Ilhan Omar is right about the influence of the Israel lobby

Guardian: Ilhan Omar is right about the influence of the Israel lobby

Following the Ilhan Omar controversy, it’s incredibly important to be able to decipher between real antisemitism and basic political facts

‘Labeling anyone who speaks of Jews and money in the same sentence an anti-Semite weakens our fight against the real antisemitic, neo-Nazi, and other white nationalist forces’ Photograph: Shawn Thew/EPA

It’s important to remember how the controversy around Ilhan Omar, who Trump said should resign over tweets critical of a pro-Israel lobbying group, began. The first two Muslim congresswomen in the history of the United States – Ilhan Omar, a freshman representative from Minnesota and Somali refugee, and her fellow freshman representative Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American – have bravely criticized the Israeli government for its grotesque treatment of the Palestinian people.

Acknowledging this apartheid system is a dangerous thing for American elected officials to do. Just in 2016, when presidential candidate Bernie Sanders dared to say that “We are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity” it became a major media event.

Omar and Tlaib endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Palestinian-led movement to pressure Israel to change course on Palestine. Opponents have dishonestly cast it as inherently antisemitic.

The furor over BDS has led more than half of US states to pass laws attacking BDS. These laws clearly trample on the constitutional right to free speech and expression, but that didn’t stop the US Senate from passing the very first piece of legislation this session, which forbids Congress from pre-empting such state laws.

So by supporting a justice movement for Palestinians, Omar and Tlaib have opened themselves up to a torrent of attacks from liberals, centrists and the right.

read more at the UK Guardian

and from The Intercept:

There Is a Taboo Against Criticizing AIPAC — and Ilhan Omar Just Destroyed It

Editor’s note:  Steve Rosen had been accused of spying against the US and fired from AIPAC.  Rosen sued on the basis of the simple fact, AIPIC is a spy agency and firing someone for spying is like giving out speeding tickets at a NASCAR race.  Rosen is a longtime associate of VT Editor Gw Todd…

In 2005, Steven Rosen, then a senior official with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, sat down for dinner with journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, then of the New Yorker. “You see this napkin?” Rosen asked Goldberg. “In twenty-four hours, [AIPAC] could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.”

I couldn’t help but be reminded of this anecdote after Rep. Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, was slammed by Democrats and Republicans alike over her suggestion, in a pair of tweets, that U.S. politicians back the state of Israel because of financial pressure from AIPAC (“It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” she declaimed). Was the flippant way in which she phrased her tweets a problem? Did it offend a significant chunk of liberal U.S. Jewish opinion? Did it perhaps unwittingly play into anti-Semitic tropes about rich Jews controlling the world? Yes, yes, and yes — as she herself has since admitted and “unequivocally” apologized for. But was she wrong to note the power of the pro-Israel lobby, to point a finger at AIPAC, to highlight — in her apology — “the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry”?

No, no, and no.

Rosen, after all, wasn’t the first AIPAC official to boast about the the raw power that “America’s bipartisan pro-Israel lobby” exercises in Washington, D.C. Go back earlier, to 1992, when then-AIPAC President David Steiner was caught on tape bragging that he had “cut a deal” with the George H.W. Bush White House to provide $3 billion in U.S. aid to Israel. Steiner also claimed to be “negotiating” with the incoming Clinton administration over the appointment of pro-Israel cabinet members. AIPAC, he said, has “a dozen people in [the Clinton] campaign, in the headquarters … and they’re all going to get big jobs.”

read more at The Intercept

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  1. I just want to live long enough to see everyone in the US who used the “antisemite” slur to shout down criticism of Zionism have egg on their face by the truth coming out how Israel the most racist state in the world and the worst enemy of the USA.

  2. Every US Citizen, not only Veterans, should be able to question Israeli war crimes, it is our Constitutional Right under the First Amendment.
    Congress is currently circumventing this right and the Constitution with this anti-BDS “swear allegiance to Israel” Bill. We should ALL be outraged, especially those of Us that fought for Democracy and the Constitution.

  3. Rep. Ilhan Omar, and other brave Americans like her, are the only hope we have to throw off the yoke of tyrannical slavery America has been saddled with.
    Unfortunately, she seems to be the lone voice in Congress.
    I imagine she will be forced out of Congress by dual US-Israeli politicians which work for Sheldon Adelson, AIPAC, JDL, and Israeli Lobbyists.
    Haaretz today had numerous articles condemning her as a “threat’ to Israeli control over the United States.
    ” My enemies enemy is my friend”
    Rep. Ilhan Omar is truly a friend of American Independence.

  4. Comment made to the MSM
    “Unfortunately, the politicians who accept bribes from AIPAC and campaign contributions lie to their constituents simply can’t handle the truth that exposes their corruption. In other words, lying is acceptable and truth is harassment. Removed all politicians that accept any payments from foreign nations especially the dual citizens of the illegal apartheid state Israel! BTW – Engel is a dual citizen Khazar Jew”
    Guess what – they didn’t publish my comment – criticize the Jew / Khazar, they scream this is anti-Semitic – I couldn’t understand that since I don’t have any objection to Palestinians.

  5. I love how Rep. Ilhan Omar went after Elliott Abrams in testimony before the House Foreign Relations Committee today. He was one of the vermin pardoned by Daddy Bush for his role in Iran-Contra. She stated for the record, “I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful.” I don’t live in her district, but she’d have my vote!

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