Jerome Segal, long-time president of the Jewish Peace Lobby— an alternative to AIPAC—speaks out on comments made by freshman Minnesota US Rep. Ilhan Omar, accused by some of the anti-Semitic remarks.
“The controversy over Congresswoman Omar’s remarks have raised an issue of far more importance than her wording choices and attitudes: It’s about the Congress,” said Segal, who also is chairman of the newly established socialist Bread and Roses Party in Maryland, www.BreadandRose.US.
He continues: “Whatever, the causes, the reality is that something is deeply wrong when it comes to how Congress deals with Israel.”
Segal ticks off several examples:
* A few weeks ago the Senate approved legislation that affirmed a ten-year $38 billion military aid package for Israel, and this was not controversial. Not one of the Democratic Senators seeking to run for President spoke against it. Why? Israel has a per capita income level similar to that of France and Britain. We have defense pacts with them, but we don’t give them military aid. Why should it be different with Israel?
* The Trump Administration moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, outside the negotiations process. The Congress by a vote of 90-0 had called for just that, despite years of criticizing the Palestinians for trying to make gains outside the give and take of negotiations. Why did no one speak up about the hypocrisy?
* A year ago, Senator Ben Cardin introduced legislation that would have made it a felony for any American to participate in international boycotts of Israeli settlements. Some 50 Senators co-sponsored this legislation. Many of these Senators are generally thoughtful legislators, with good records on civil liberties. This could only happen with respect to Israel. Why?
“In short, whatever the specifics about Ilhan Omar, she is right that there is something wrong with Congress whenever it turns to issues involving Israel,” says Segal.
Segal was an opponent of Cardin in last year’s Democratic senatorial election in Maryland, focusing on the Maryland senator’s wholesale support of AIPAC.
Segal, of Silver Spring, Md., is available to discuss this and other topics concerning his Bread and Roses Party or his role with the Jewish Peace Lobby and efforts for peace.