According to Jewish Insider, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has announced she will be joining the Congressional Black-Jewish Caucus. The Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota had previously offered support for this bipartisan partnership, stating on Twitter:
Reps. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) announced the launch of the Black-Jewish Caucus on June 3rd. The launch of the Caucus was facilitated by the American Jewish Committee.
As many are no doubt aware, Ilhan Omar has been accused on multiple occasions of trafficking in blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric — whether it be claiming that Israel had “hypnotized the world” or that American support for Israel was based solely upon Jewish money.
Her supporters are certain to laud her announcement as final and incontrovertible proof that Ilhan Omar is not an anti-Semite. Not only that, they say, but she is now actively fighting against anti-Semitism!
The brutal fact is that Ilhan Omar does not care about fighting anti-Semitism. She simply wishes to profit politically from certain forms of anti-Semitism, while steadfastly ignoring others.
If we look at Ilhan Omar’s announcement in the context of her repeated attempt to focus on white supremacist violence, her motivations become clear. Just today, she tweeted:
While her claim that most “extremist murders” were perpetrated by white supremacists may be true domestically, this is far from true internationally, where radical Islamic extremists are responsible for far more deaths than are white supremacists.
However, what must be noted is that Ilhan Omar is intentionally portraying the issue of extremism as a false choice, wherein we can only combat one form of extremist violence and must therefore decide which is more of a threat. In reality, we should be able to agree that all forms of extremist violence and discrimination should be rejected. After all, the Democrats themselves chose not to condemn Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism, and instead supported a broader condemnation of amorphous “hate.”
Given that Ilhan Omar is presenting a false binary choice, her motivations become clear when we look at one key sentence from her tweet: “We must treat domestic terrorism with the same vigilance we treat international terrorism.” The problem for Omar is that she has a demonstrated history of not taking international terrorism seriously. She lobbied for lighter sentences for ISIS recruits, she has publicly aligned herself with terrorist sympathizers and terror-related groups, and was even seen giggling about Hezbollah and al-Qaeda during a recently resurfaced 2013 interview.
Omar is trying to make the argument that we do not treat domestic terrorism with the same vigilance with which we treat international terrorism. Even if she were correct, her insouciant attitude towards international terrorism proves that she is either a hypocrite or is someone driven by a general strategy of deflection and distraction.
When we combine the two indisputable facts that Ilhan Omar is an outspoken anti-Semite and that she transparently does not take international (i.e., radical Islamic) terrorism seriously, we are left with only one conclusion.
Her support of the Black-Jewish Caucus is not rooted in a desire to fight anti-Semitism. If it were, then she would presumably speak out against terrorist groups — like Hamas — who have openly and repeatedly expressed a desire to see a Jewish genocide. Instead, she supports and fundraises for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has long had close organizational ties with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. In reality, her support is rooted in her disingenuous desire to redirect all criticism — as well as any criticism of her compatriots — by hiding behind a cherry-picked group of victimized Jews.
For Ilhan Omar, anti-Semitism is a convenient political vehicle. She has no intention to fight anti-Semitism. Instead, she is willingly ignoring radical Islamic anti-Semitism to advance her own goals.
Ilhan Omar claimed that “Israel has hypnotized the world.” The truth is that the only people being hypnotized are the people who believe Ilhan Omar’s support of the Black-Jewish Caucus is motivated by anything other than the goal of weaponizing anti-Semitism.