On Sept. 13, the staff of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) posted three photos on the progressive “Squad” member’s X account, where she has 1.2 million followers, of her meeting with Sheletta Brundidge, who “is doing incredible work in North Minneapolis.”
Over the next two months, with the exception of meetings with a minister of Myanmar’s government in exile and Salvadoran politician Karina Sosa, the only individuals whose photos Omar’s staff posted meeting with the Minnesota Democrat were identified as two Jews—a Nov. 14 meeting with a Holocaust survivor and a Nov. 16 meeting with the Reconstructionist rabbi—the same rabbi heckled U.S. President Joe Biden on Nov. 1 during a talk on economics in the state.
Omar’s staff posted that the representative “was honored and deeply moved to meet with Manfred Lindenbaum,” whose “niece Beth is a constituent and friend.” Lindenbaum “escaped Nazi Germany on a kinder transport with his 8-year-old brother when he was 6, while his 14-year-old sister was not allowed on the transport,” Omar’s staff posted. “She and both his parents later perished at Auschwitz.”
The two “talked about our shared trauma and refugee stories, the importance of humane immigration policies (particularly towards children), gun violence prevention and the current war in Gaza,” Omar’s staff posted.
“That was a cheap shot,” wrote Dalia al-Aqidi, who is running for Omar’s seat, in response to the post on X. “When I was in Israel last week, I met with families of those taken hostage by the terrorists of Hamas. I offered our support since you refuse to.”
Seth Mandel, then executive editor of The Washington Examiner (now senior editor at Commentary), wrote that Lindenbaum is “one of the nicest people you will ever meet,” but “Politicians who take advantage of that are … not.”
“What other minority group does the feral left troll this way?” wrote Jonathan Greenberg, a Reform rabbi, in response to Omar’s post.
Beth Gendler, executive director of Jewish Community Action (“Minnesota’s Jewish voice for economic and racial justice for all”), posted on X that “It was an honor to introduce my uncle to my congresswoman,” sharing the post from Omar’s office.
On Nov. 16, Omar’s staff posted that “I was honored to meet with Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, a proud Minnesotan. In our powerful conversation, we agreed that true peace can only happen when the current violence ends. I sincerely pray for an immediate ceasefire and the safe return of all hostages.”
“Blue-washing and tautologies … ‘true peace can only happen when the current violence ends.’ No kidding,” responded the nonprofit Democratic Majority for Israel. “Hamas could end the violence tomorrow by surrendering themselves, their weapons and the hostages. Congresswoman and rabbi, why aren’t you urging Hamas to do that?”
Omar’s office did not respond to a request for comment from JNS.