“No way in hell,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) told The Messenger, when asked if she would attend Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s July 19 address to Congress.
Omar, part of the so-called “Squad” and a frequent anti-Israel critic, claimed that she didn’t even know that the Israeli president was scheduled to come to the Capitol.
“There is no way in hell I am attending the joint session address from a president whose country has banned me and denied Rashida Tlaib the ability to see her grandma,” Omar tweeted. (Tlaib was permitted to visit her grandmother, but opted not to do so.)
In part of a Twitter thread, she appeared to be aware that Israel’s president was different than its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
“While executive power in Israel is vested in the prime minister and his cabinet, the president as head of state as traditionally served as a ‘faithful policy ambassador’ for the government in charge,” she wrote, sharing a Haaretz opinion article.
“I respect the fact that unlike others in her party, she doesn’t even pretend it’s about Bibi. She just hates Israel! Openly!” tweeted Seth Mandel, executive editor of the Washington Examiner. “It’s like when AOC pulled out of an event honoring Yitzhak Rabin when she found out he was Israeli.” (AOC is a nickname for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D-N.Y.)
“Isaac Herzog ran against Bibi as head of the Labor party, and nearly beat him too. Now he’s trying to get Likud to water down judicial reform,” Mandel wrote. “If you claim to simply hate Bibi and want a more liberal Israel, Herzog is your hero. If you just hate Israel, you boycott him too.”
If Omar really opposed Netanyahu, then she would attend the talk and clap along, but her problem is with Jews, not with the prime minster, Mandel added.
“So Omar is boycotting Herzog’s address to Congress because of the Netanyahu judicial package that Herzog has worked tirelessly to try to prevent?” tweeted Robert David (KC) Johnson, a history professor at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center at City University of New York.
Bryan Leib, executive director of CASEPAC, tweeted that Omar is a leader of the boycott Israel movement in America.