Forget Ilhan Omar; pay attention to her Jewish support system

Mostly on social-media platforms, but in mainstream media outlets as well, Jews have been trying to extend her support, justify her spew and ratchet up the anti-Semitic poison.

Yisrael Medad
Yisrael Medad is a researcher, analyst and opinion commentator on political, cultural and media issues.

Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Minnesota is only part of the story of the colonialist settling of anti-Semitism in the highest echelons of the American democratic power system. Her financial support from CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror financing trial, a group she raised money for, is readily available for those who seek information. And they’ve begun right now generating financial support for her 2020 campaign. Her disingenuous disguising of her BDS support was published. Her obvious anti-Semitism is not new.

But there is another part to her story. Jews.

No, not the Jews she has targeted. Not the Jews she has besmirched. Not the Jews she has placed in the cross-hairs in a gross intersectionality of hatred with the white supremacists, whose belief in “Jewish money” she had justified. No, the Jews who support her and identify with her agenda.

Mostly on social-media platforms, but in mainstream media outlets as well, Jews have been trying to extend her support, justify her spew and ratchet up the anti-Semitic poison.

That’s right. Jews.

Their ideological political stance is one that plays on anti-Semitic tropes even more than Omar. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recognized it, tweeting that she’s: “inspired by Jewish leadership who brought her in, not push her out, to heal.”

In this interim summary, some of the social-media conversation reacting to Omar’s anti-Semitism can be found but there is much more. Let me make some selections.

Here is a tweet from Jewish Voice for Peace:

We #standwithIlhan and appreciate her response to the impact of word choices but it isn’t really about words here, it’s about all of our abilities to critique @aipac. As JVP’s Executive Director @rvilkomerson said earlier … “Lobbies influence politics, I don’t think that’s controversial to say.”

Sure, lobbies influence politics, but Omar tweeted that they bought the votes of politicians. That attracted (and this is the danger) a response such as this:

Hear, hear. Courage to critique pro occupation, in the hope of finding peace is not anti Israel, it’s pro HUMAN RIGHTS.

Human rights is part of the equation, but so, too, is human rights for Jews. Arab terror that killed Jews began long before any supposed “illegal” occupation. Jews have a right to live in peace and security.

JVP hyped it higher, subsequently tweeting:

Amid ongoing attempts to smear @IlhanMN as antisemitic & attacks against her fueled by racism & Islamophobia, we’re reflecting on this quote from the #TorahOfAngelaDavis: “Antisemitism and racism are historically linked. Calling up one unleashes the other.”

No “smear” is there but an actual classic anti-Semitic theme was expressed by Omar but JVP Jews are out-Omaring Omar.

And finally, JVP let loose with this:

“ … now progressive Dems like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are challenging this bipartisan commitment to an apartheid state.”

Playing the apartheid card, by Jews, is simply heinous. They know it is not true, but they push it as part of their progressive agenda.

IfNotNow was also quite active fomenting anti-Israel attitudes. In one, they wrote:

Presidential hopefuls are going against AIPAC, especially when they legislate people’s speech when criticizing Israel. Only a few years ago, this would’ve been unthinkable—our movements are transforming the political landscape, and we’re not stopping.

How can they be happy at a “transformation” that is morally corrupting the American political landscape while messaging untruths about Israel? These are also Jews you delight in making things worse for Jews.

Take Ady Barkan who, responding to an IfNotNow tweet, wrote in a thread to strengthen the link between Jews and money:

AIPAC is a central pillar of the occupation. Without Congressional support, the Likud/anti-Palestine/pro-occupation project would be radically undermined. AIPAC is the anchor of that support, and its money and Sheldon Adelson’s money are indispensable to the work.

AIPAC supports a two-state solution, by the way. Omar, interestingly, responded to this tweet, writing:

I am going to miss your presence and courage. In solidarity my friend, in solidarity.

Barkan, who tragically suffers from ALS, holds Israeli citizenship in addition to being an American. And don’t skip Simone Zimmerman.

Mainstream Jewish media also joined in. The Forward granted guest op-ed space to Peter Feld who opined that “No, Ilhan Omar Is Not Anti-Semitic For Calling Out AIPAC.” Feld, unidentified in The Forward, would appear to be Political Director at The Insurrection describes itself as a “Date-driven political and media company specializing in digital strategy, messaging and targeting.” When I was at university in the 1960s, we called that agitprop. Lenin would be proud.

Feld has had a Twitter account suspended for his language and, from the snippets I saw, I can guess due to his anti-Semitism. On Dec. 1, he tweeted that the Israel Anti-Boycott Act is a “racist law.” He has been hosted at the vicious anti-Zionist website Mondoweiss. Haaretz quoted him on May 3, 2016:

BDS activist Peter Feld, a writer for the pro-BDS website Mondoweiss, [wrote] that “Israel totally meets” the definition of apartheid under international law, “2 sets of laws for 2 ethnicities. Just what you boycotted in the 80s.”

Feld was corresponding with Steve Van Zandt of the E-Street Band, trying, unsuccessfully, to halt Bruce Springsteen from appearing in Israel.

And there is the other Peter. Professor Beinart. He tied his own brand of “whataboutism” with a misrepresentation of the reality in Judea and Samaria, writing in The Forward.

“ … if we’re going to demand that politicians apologize for any hint of association with bigotry, let’s not stop with Ilhan Omar. Let’s hold her critics to the same standard. Establishing two legal systems in the same territory—one for Jews and one for Palestinians, as Israel does in the West Bank—is bigotry. Guaranteeing Jews in the West Bank citizenship, due process, free movement and the right to vote for the government that controls their lives while denying those rights to their Palestinian neighbors is bigotry. It’s a far more tangible form of bigotry than Omar’s flirtation with anti-Semitic tropes.”

Of course, there are two legal systems. That’s international law. Does Beinart want Israel to contravene international law?

Article 43 of the Geneva Convention makes it clear: “The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall respect […] the laws in force in the country.” Israel must preserve the previous legal system. Of course, since the system that existed in 1967 was itself of an illegal occupier, Hashemite Jordan, Beinart would be hard put to deny that the true legal system in force guaranteed the Jewish right “to close settlement by Jews on the land” as Article 6 of the 1922 League of Nations decision states.

But beyond such details, what Beinart is doing is being willing to tolerate a high level of anti-Israelism by Omar as long as she cleans up her anti-Semitism. That would be OK for him.

Omar need be combated. But be on the lookout for her Jews.

Yisrael Medad is an American-born Israeli journalist and commentator.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates