The predominantly white and elderly crowd (retired teachers and assorted radicals) of activists I saw held signs with straw man clichés (“Racism is not patriotic”), accompanied by the usual anti-Trump and anti-GOP rhetoric. There were maybe three dozen people in attendance, not “about 100 supporters mobbing Ms. Omar for a hero’s welcome” as a New York Times story noted. Some folks have jobs, you know. Perhaps even more media was present than attendees.
What exactly were they celebrating, though?
Rep. Omar’s views of the country that fought to save people like her in Somalia, allowed her family to settle here in freedom and, just a few years after graduating from a mediocre state college, jumpstart her national political career, remain ignorant and repugnant. Month after month of divisive and disingenuous venom from the first-term congresswoman deserves all the criticism and opprobrium we can muster.
This week, Omar transitions from making anti-Semitic comments to crafting anti-Semitic policy, when she introduces an offensive resolution supporting the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement—a rogue anti-Israel organization, supported by Hamas and other execrable global groups, whose actions embody historical examples of Jew-hatred, while inexplicably equating the Jewish State to Nazi Germany in the process.
The invidious resolution is symbolic anti-semitic propaganda that won’t garner public support in a wise nation that, unlike much of the world, overwhelmingly believes the Jewish people have right to exist in their homeland.
Aside from seeking attention and more fundraising opportunities (“follow the Benjamins,” indeed), Omar likely wants to get her fellow Democrats, including 2020 Presidential hopefuls, on the record. This should infuriate those candidates, including fellow Minnesota Democrat, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, currently among the crop of aspirants. Klobuchar happens to be openly pro-Israel, unlike many candidates including purported frontrunners Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Democrats, who already struggled mightily to condemn Omar’s numerous past abhorrent comments on Israel, Judaism, AIPAC and its “Benjamins” dominating U.S. policy on Israel, hope to delay the legislation amid fears of continued intra-party clashes. Not a bad idea, but sad too. Though Omar is safe in her provincial urban district, it should undoubtedly only alienate more Jews and Minnesotans from what her ilk believes is a “revolution.”
Tellingly, less than a year ago and before her election to Minnesota’s far left 5th Congressional district — ironically the most Jewish district in the state and nearly all the Midwest — Omar told a crowd of Democrats at Beth El Synagogue that she opposes BDS, a group so bigoted that nearly 30 states have passed legislation banning organizations that support BDS from receiving state funds. The House Foreign Affairs Committee also passed a July 17 resolution accusing BDS of promoting “principles of collective guilt, mass punishment and group isolation.” What changed, Ilhan, or did you lie to placate gullible liberal Jews?
Lee Zeldin, a Jewish Iraq War veteran and congressman of Omar’s age, who has destroyed her since January on social media, tweeted, “Israel is our best ally in the Mid East; a beacon of hope, freedom and liberty, surrounded by existential threats. Shame on Rep Omar for bringing her hateful twist on that reality to House Foreign today, propping up the BDS movement and blaming Israel for all of its challenges.”
So Omar is hurting her party by augmenting the internecine war between liberals and the hard Left, dividing her district, ruining her brand, and giving a president she loathes more foil to expose her. What is her overarching goal?
Perhaps, as debated on Fox News, talk radio and occasionally the legacy media, the power within today’s Democratic Party is not with Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Steny Hoyer and party elders, but with inane “activists” like Omar and her vacuous media allies.
If President Trump wanted to call out the anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism of Omar’s so-called “squad,” there are more effective ways than to say, “go back where you came from”; but absent any check on their instincts, radicals like Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and other brainwashed young leftists will continue their commitment to, as one writer recently put it, “a special brand of ethnic and sectarian antagonism.”
And that hatred has troubling aspects for Democrats, Republicans, and the United States.