Guest Opinion by Ari Kaufman
I’ve sadly lost count of the anti-Semitic smears coming from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) since she took her U.S. congressional seat just two months ago. This bigotry deserves broad condemnation with punitive actions behind it.
As a Jew happily residing in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I put America first and surely do not have “dual loyalty” to Israel and the USA — as Omar and others like freshman representative and fellow Muslim Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) have accused some — nor does my wife, nor do my Jewish family members and friends.
In her initial half-hearted apology on Feb. 11, Omar, at the tender age of 37, said she’s “listening and learning,” yet she’s since quickly doubled and tripled down on anti-Semitic canards and other insidious rhetoric.
Unsurprisingly, the congresswoman also has her facts completely wrong on Israel, which undermines the USA’s long-standing support toward our chief and only true Middle East ally.
Criticizing American support for the only Jewish country in a region, surrounded by substantially-larger Muslim nations (Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, et al.) sworn to Israel’s literal destruction for generations, makes such criticism suspect.
Christians, Jews, Americans and freedom lovers everywhere support Israel, Ms. Omar, because the nation is rooted in Judeo-Christian values; offers free and fair elections; vast contributions to defense, technology, medicine and science; and perhaps most importantly, as a military ally and the lone democracy in a region of autocratic regimes, enemies of Israel hate the United States as well.
An easy and necessary step would be the removal of the unapologetic Omar — who has never visited Israel yet supports the viciously anti-Semitic BDS movement — from the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee, where she currently sits. More than a dozen Jewish groups of various political stripes, including the venerable and left-leaning Anti-Defamation League, recently asked Speaker Pelosi to do this. She has not and undoubtedly will not. The speaker continues to kowtow to young, naive radicals in her party, especially those “of color”.
Conversely, when Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made controversial racial remarks in January, he immediately offered an apology, while the Republican Party swiftly removed him from all committee assignments, yet no action has been taken by Democrats against Omar. Why not? Ilhan Omar is the quintessential definition of an anti Semite.
On a local level, I also hope for further condemnation of this bigotry from Minnesota’s Democrat Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, the rest of the state’s congressional delegation, and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. I surely don’t expect to hear from Omar’s congressional predecessor and current Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who has his own troubling history of anti-Semitic associations and invective.
So far there is simple silence, or unfathomable agreement with such hate from fellow radical leftists like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and the execrable Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT.), a leading 2020 Democrat presidential candidate.
Concurrence with anti-Semitic bigotry is not an option; turning the American Democrat Party into Jeremy Corbyn’s British Labour Party of Jewish hatred is not either, I’d hope. Continuous denouncements of vile, ignorant statements, however, are vital to our free republic.
A California native, and former school teacher and military historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist for various publications around the country since 2004. He lives with his wife in Minnesota.