Trump calls Ilhan Omar's apology 'lame,' says she should resign

Posted February 13, 2019

As comedian Matt Lieb reminded us on Twitter though: "In case anyone needed a reminder that the right wing uses love of Israel to whitewash their own antisemitism, here's a video I made about it a year ago". Nevertheless, in the US, where the Israeli lobby is so strong that one can be accused of anti-Semitism for a single word Israeli government deems offensive, it was not long until Omar faced heavy insults and slander.

On Monday, Omar apologized for making the anti-Semitic comments on Twitter.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn, Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark on Monday issued a joint statement condemning the Congresswoman's anti-Semitic comments.

The letter didn't name Omar or Tlaib, but its intention was clear. Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said he would not tolerate them and found it "shocking to hear a Member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of "Jewish money.'" He said he will emphasize to members of the panel of both parties that the American-Israeli relationship is important".

Why - across America - some people are simultaneously anti-Jew and pro-Israel.

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The Minnesota freshman has faced criticism for weeks over her positions on the Jewish state, but it boiled over late Sunday after she reacted to a Republican critic in a tweet. Which followed a self-congratulatory tweet declaring: "The defiance of Democratic senators and the open criticism from Omar are signs that the fear the lobby instilled is waning as the base of the Democratic Party becomes more supportive of Palestinian rights".

This move prompted a tweet from journalist Glenn Greenwald questioning the comparison, to which Omar replied that McCarthy's approach was "all about the Benjamins, baby" - in other words, driven by money. "And Congressman Omar, it's awful what she said", the commander-in-chief continued.

Then she used all of the faux integrity with which she hoped those two paragraphs endowed her to deliver the real punch: "At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry".

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 7, 2019.

Her so-called apology the next day reflected all of the above unabashedly.

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Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception. She backtracked and apologized after a New York Times columnist explained to her why Jews could find it offensive.

"But others have defended Omar and Tlaib, arguing, like Omar, that critics conflate the lawmakers" condemnation of the Israeli government with anti-Semitism.

Forward opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon asked her to clarify who is "paying American politicians to be pro-Israel". She earlier apologized for tweeting in 2012 that "Israel had hypnotized the world".

Others welcomed Omar's apology, saying right-wing forces level accusations of anti-Semitism to divide the progressive movement. And she later expressed regret while on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah", saying she had to "take a deep breath and understand where people were coming from and what point they were trying to make".

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