The ZOA says the new Minnesota congresswoman continues to spread anti-Israel propaganda.
By David Jablinowitz, World Israel News
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) issued a statement in which it “strongly disagrees” with the acceptance by Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt of an “apology” issued by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Upon her rise to the national stage with an election victory in November to the House of Representatives, the new Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota was condemned for her comment in 2012 that “Israel has hypnotized the world; may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
After the new Congress took office earlier this month, Bari Weiss, a New York Times editor, wrote an op-ed charging that Omar’s comments “cross the line into anti-Semitism [because] they ascribe evil, almost supernatural powers to Israel in a manner that replicates classic anti-Semitic slanders.”
“The conspiracy theory of the Jew as the hypnotic conspirator, the duplicitous manipulator, the sinister puppeteer is one with ancient roots and a bloody history,” wrote Weiss. She then challenged the essence of Omar’s charge, adding that “the Jewish state is not engaged in ‘evil doings,’ but defending itself against the enemies pressing on all of its borders, including Hamas, which has genocide of the Jews, and a belief in Jewish manipulative power, at the heart of its ideology.”
The new congresswoman responded to the article, tweeting that her statement had come “in the context of the Gaza War. It’s now apparent to me that I spent lots of energy putting my 2012 tweet in context and little energy is disavowing the anti-semitic trope I unknowingly used, which is unfortunate and offensive.” She was referring to a 2012 eight-day IDF operation in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Omar also wrote: “It is important to distinguish between criticizing a military action by a government and attacking a particular people of faith. I will not shy away of criticism of any government when I see injustice – whether it be Saudi Arabia, Somalia, even our own government!” Omar has spoken of her days living in a Somali refugee camp when she was a girl.
“As a survivor of war, the acts of war justified or not will always be acts of evil to me,” she tweeted.
Greenblatt tweeted: “Hats off to Bari Weiss for her op-ed on why the Jewish community was disturbed by [the] 2012 tweet evoking old anti-Semitic trope. And hats off to Rep Omar for her honest apology & commitment to a more just world. Open & respectful conversations will help us achieve this goal.”
However, ZOA charged that Omar’s explanation constitutes a “belated, limited non-apology for one tiny part of Omar’s numerous vicious, Israel-hating, anti-Semitic, compassion-for-Israel-hating-ISIS-convicts statements and positions.”
Omar “never apologized for falsely calling Israel ‘evil’ and an ‘apartheid regime,’ and for continuing to promote anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) – and for lying to voters by making them falsely believe that she opposed BDS while she was running for Congress… Clearly, Rep. Omar lacks credibility and her weak words of ‘apology’ can’t be taken seriously,” said the ZOA statement.