(July 18, 2019 / JNS) U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) formally introduced this week a resolution supporting the anti-Israel BDS movement, comparing it to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Although the resolution does not explicitly name Israel or BDS, she told Al-Monitor, “We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting. And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
“Americans of conscience have a proud history of participating in boycotts to advocate for human rights abroad including … boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead-up to the Holocaust,” said Omar in the resolution, co-sponsored by Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.).
Also on Wednesday, she told Jewish Insider that she will be going to Israel and the Palestinian territories in a few weeks.
“I am going in a couple of weeks and so I’ll learn more,” Omar told the outlet. “But truly, everything that I hear points to both sides feeling like there is still an occupation.”
It is unclear if she and Tlaib will be admitted into Israel. Any decision would likely be left up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Israel’s Foreign Ministry can recommend diplomatic exceptions for law denying entry to BDS supporters, but due to visit’s sensitivity, the premier would have to make the call,” reported Haaretz.
Since entering Congress in January, Omar has made multiple anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks.
In February, she accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the largest pro-Israel lobbying organization, of paying members of Congress to back Israel, saying it was “all about the Benjamins.”
The following month, she pointed fingers at her “Jewish colleagues” for attacking her and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for labeling their criticisms as anti-Israel because of the Muslim faith of the two congresswomen, in addition to slamming her critics regarding “the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
This led to the passing of a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives condemning anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred that did not call out Omar by name.
‘You don’t regret your words?’
In a July 17 interview with “CBS This Morning,” Omar expressed no regrets for those remarks.
“Often times there are things that you might say might not hold weight for you, but to someone else, the way that we hear and consume information is very different than how the next person might,” said Omar.
“So, you don’t regret your words either?” asked co-host Gayle King.
“I do not, but I have gotten the—I’m grateful for the opportunity to really learn how my words made people feel and have taken every single opportunity I’ve gotten to make sure that people understood that I apologize for it,” replied Omar.
When asked by King if she would “like to make that clear” she isn’t anti-Semitic, Omar said, “Oh, certainly not.”
“Yes, nothing I said, at least to me, was meant for that purpose,” she added.