It wasn’t long ago that Democrats were drooling over Omar Ilhan, the first Somali-American to serve as an U.S. representative.
But as of late, the freshman lawmaker has been starting political fires all over the Democratic field.
Omar has come under fire from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other Republicans over her comments criticizing Israel, both remarks made since her election to Congress and long before she even began her political career. In November 2012, in the midst of an Israeli military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Omar said on Twitter “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
That should have been enough to set the alarm, but apparently not.
When she was appointed to the Foreign Affairs Committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi despite her anti-Semitic comments, many were understandably outraged.
But some were filled with GLEE over the news.
From the Washington Times:
Meanwhile, Palestinian advocates cheered the addition of Ms. Omar to the committee.
“This is huge news!” said IfNotNow, which bills itself as a Jewish progressive group. “Having an anti-Occupation voice like Ilhan Omar’s on the House Foreign Affairs Committee will be a welcome change. And it’s further proof that the days of the Democrats’ support-Israel-at-all-costs stance are numbered.”
Pelosi came under a lot of fire for that appointment, but not as much as the storm she is facing after Omar’s tweet on Sunday:
It's all about the Benjamins baby 🎶 https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
Unless you like to listen to obscenity-laced rap music from the artist known as Puff Daddy, you probably aren’t going to know what that means.
Here’s a sample of some of the lyrics from the song “It’s All About the Benjamins”:
It’s All About The Benjamins, What?
I Get A Fifty Pound Bag Of Ooh For The Mutts
Five Carats On My Hands Wit The Cuts
And Swim In European Figures
F**k Bein A Broke N**ga
I Want A All Chromed Out Wit The Clutch, N**ga
So, those who know the song took immediate offense to the parallel between money and Jewish people.
Then she tweeted the following:
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Implying people are made “pro-Israel” by being paid off by the AIPAC was simply the last straw.
Democratic leadership offices didn’t respond Sunday evening to requests for comment on Omar’s statements.
But apparently this one wasn’t just going to blow over. By Monday, it seemed as though Democrats finally weighed the cost of ignoring the obvious anti-Semitism and started making waves within their own party.
As reported by Countable:
A pair of House Democrats is calling on leadership to condemn anti-Semitism and denounce controversial remarks made by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), as the party faces growing pressure to respond to accusations that one of their members is anti-Semitic.
Reps. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.) and Elaine Luria (Va.), who are both Jewish, are collecting signatures for a letter they plan to send to Democratic leaders expressing deep concern over “recent rhetoric from certain members within our Caucus, including just last night, that has disparaged us and called into question our loyalty to our nation.” The letter, which was obtained by POLITICO, is being circulated to Jewish Democrats.
In response to all of the political pressure to call Omar out, Nancy FINALLY did.
“Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception. We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel in Congress because we understand that our support is based on shared values and strategic interests. Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share. But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.
We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.
After all of the pressure from her own party, Omar did issue an apology, although it was not “unequivocal” as she or the liberal media have stated.
If it WERE unequivocal, the last paragraph wouldn’t start with “At the same time…”
Listening and learning, but standing strong 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/7TSroSf8h1
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Trying to cover over her last paragraph, some outlets left out the last paragraph altogether, which is horrendous.
Still, this was an interesting turn of events. It wasn’t expected after recent moves from the democratic party toward anti-Israel sentiment. Pew Research Data shows the “widening gap” between support for Israel within political parties.
As reported by the Washington Examiner:
Conservatives back Israel by an 81 percent to 5 percent margin, while liberals actually favor Palestinians by nearly two-to-one. Political parties like to talk about issues that united their party, but Israel is an issue that objectively divides the Democrats, as conservative/moderate Democrats are the polar opposite — favoring Israel two-to-one.
Do you support Israel? Do you feel that Omar’s apology was sufficient? Leave your comments down below!