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Rep. Ilhan Omar deletes anti-Semitic tweets that sparked political firestorm
Two weeks after she ignited controversy with two anti-Semitic tweets, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) quietly deleted the offending posts that prompted bipartisan blowback.
Omar removed the tweets, as well as an older anti-Semitic post in which she wrote that Israel “hypnotized the world.”
Omar has been criticized for anti-Semitic comments as well as for her lenient attitudes towards radical Islam.
Omar deletes racist tweets
In a pair of tweets on Feb. 10, Omar claimed that American lawmakers had been paid off to side with the Jewish state against Palestine. The tweets were confirmed gone by Tuesday, but some noticed as early as Sunday that they had been deleted.
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) February 26, 2019
Journalist Glenn Greenwald blasted Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for rebuking Omar and Democrat Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over their criticism of Israel, writing, “it’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”
Omar responded, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” with a musical notes emoji, and in a second tweet accused the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of paying off American politicians. The tweets earned a rebuke for “anti-Semitic tropes” from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Omar apologized under pressure from Republicans and Democrats, but critics were doubtful of its sincerity – President Trump called the apology “lame” – with many noting that Omar sent out an anti-Semitic tweet in 2012 saying that Jews “hypnotized the world,” long before she entered the halls of Congress and acquired a seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,” Omar said. “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
Anti-Semite, radical Islam sympathizer
President Trump called on Omar to resign and Republicans pressured Democrats to force Omar out of her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
While the “hypnotize” tweet dates from 2012, Omar didn’t remove it until the recent controversy. She did defend the tweet in January under media scrutiny, but later apologized for using anti-Semitic stereotypes while pleading ignorance of those tropes when she fired off the tweet.
Besides anti-Semitic comments, Omar has also been criticized for anti-American attitudes, including sympathy for ISIS recruits and a flippant attitude towards other terror groups like al-Shabbab and Hezbollah. In a 2013 interview on a local television station in Minnesota, Omar, who fled from Somalia to come to America, discussed the unwanted attention drawn to her Somali American community in the aftermath of an al-Shabbab attack on a Kenyan shopping mall. In that interview, Omar blamed American foreign policy for creating terrorism.
Omar is also a supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and along with Tlaib is one of the most virulent anti-Israel Democrats in Congress. Like Tlaib, Omar’s criticism of Israel has ventured into anti-Semitic innuendo, which some say is part of a growing and worrisome trend of racism against Jews in the Democratic party.
“Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar is deleting her anti-Semitic tweets. But deleting tweets doesn’t change that she still supports the anti-Semitic BDS movement to boycott and delegitimize Israel,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted.
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