U.S. Republicans and Democrats speak out against Rep. Ilhan Omar’s accusation of payoffs to support Israel.
By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News
Newly elected U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, is again causing controversy in pro-Israel circles, this time with an accusation against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The newest controversy is an offshoot of previous remarks by the Muslim member of the House of Representatives which included her accusation that the Jewish State had “hypnotized the world” into supporting its positions. She has also voiced support for the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.
This led to Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s vow on Friday to “take action” against her if the Democratic majority did not do so first.
Omar on Sunday responded on Twitter to McCarthy’s threat, by saying, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” a reference to the $100 bill featuring Benjamin Franklin.
The U.S. representative seemed to be making a clear accusation that the House minority leader was paid off to act in defense of Israel. It prompted Batya Ungar-Sargon, an editor at The Forward, a U.S. Jewish publication, to tweet: “Would love to know who llhan thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess.”
“AIPAC!” Omar vehemently replied, a reference to the strongest Israeli lobby group in Washington.
AIPAC tweeted in response to the accusation: “We are proud that we are engaged in the democratic process to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship. Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and interests,” said the lobby group. “We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work,” AIPAC added.
The criticism of Omar has not come from members of the Republican Party alone. Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former president Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said: “We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism,” Clinton said.
Rep. Max Rose, a freshman Democrat from New York, wrote: “Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself. Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive.”
Rep. Rose said that “at a time when anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, our leaders should not be invoking hurtful stereotypes and caricatures of Jewish people to dismiss those who support Israel.”
The American Jewish Committee termed Omar’s statements “stunningly anti-Semitic.”