Analysis: Ilhan Omar’s attack on Israel reveals her own prejudices

Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Minnesota compared Israel to Iran by slamming Israel’s new Nation-State Law.

By Daniel Krygier, World Israel News

In a recent interview, newly elected U.S. Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Minnesota compared Israel to Iran by slamming Israel’s new Nation-State law.

“When I see Israel institute a law that recognizes it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it, and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East, I almost chuckle, because I know that if we see that in any other society we would criticize it, we would call it out, we do that to Iran, we do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion,” she said.

Omar’s statement exemplifies the widespread and bigoted ignorance about Israel among the younger generation of left-wing politicians in America.

There is nothing discriminatory about Israel’s new Nation-State Law. It simply articulates the obvious: Israel is the national and historical homeland of the Jewish people. The U.N. partition plan of 1947 explicitly endorses the establishment of a Jewish state next to an Arab state.

The reason another Arab state has still not been established is because many of Israel’s neighbors are still focused on wiping out the world’s only Jewish state.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence recognizes civic equality for all citizens and complete religious freedom for all. By contrast, Iran and other Islamist dictatorships discriminate against non-Muslims and other minorities.

While Israel’s history is unique, its status as a democratic nation-state is not unique. There is no shortage of states that define themselves as democratic nation-states. Some of them are considered among the world’s most liberal societies: Denmark, Norway and Finland. Nobody demands from Japan to choose between being a Japanese state or a democracy since it is both.

There is no shortage of countries in the world that define themselves as Christian or Muslim. Liberal Denmark openly embraces Protestant Christianity as its official religion despite the presence of Catholics, Muslims, Jews and others. Ironically, the Jewish state does not have an official state religion. While Judaism is the dominant religion in Israel, it does not have the same official status as Christianity has in many Western states.

Rep. Omar is doing a great disservice to oppressed Middle Eastern minorities by comparing Israel to Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran publicly hangs gays.

By contrast, Israel is among the most liberal countries in the world towards gays. Tel Aviv is frequently mentioned as one of the most gay-friendly places on earth.

Iran and other Islamic dictatorships openly oppress and discriminate against women. By contrast, women have equal rights in Israel. Israeli women serve as ambassadors, Supreme Court judges, fighter pilots and Cabinet ministers.

In Iran and other Islamic societies, non-Muslims are dhimmis, forced to live as submissive second-class citizens. By contrast, Israeli Arabs are equal citizens and serve in senior positions as senior judges, generals, lawyers, diplomats and doctors.

As a Muslim woman in a predominantly Christian America, Omar should focus on promoting tolerance rather than singling out the Jewish people for a bigotry of which they’re not guilty and making vulgar comparisons between Israel and a cruel state like Iran. 

In making such analogies, Omar exposes nothing but her own prejudices.