Unrepentant Ilhan Omar brings more ignorance to open 2020 – Guest Opinion by Ari Kaufman

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Last year in print and electronic media I pondered, exposed and commented upon Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic rhetoric, anti-Americanism, divisiveness, and tendencies toward bigotry. 

While analyzing this ongoing horrid situation in my state is imperative, I wish I didn’t have to, but I will so long as she continues to supply it.

Despite a half-hearted apology last February saying she’s “listening and learning,” Omar instead doubled and tripled down on similarly insidious commentary throughout last year, with already more controversy to open 2020.  

During a Jan. 8 news conference while Iranian bombs targeting American military sites flew in the sky, Omar audaciously remarked she “felt ill because of everything that is taking place. And I think every time I hear conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD.”

Yet in the same press conference, cameras caught Omar laughing while Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee speciously tried to score political points by discussing U.S. service members killed in the Iraq War.

Omar’s ludicrous analogy perturbed many of our nation’s veterans who sacrifice so much to keep Americans (and Muslims) safe. 

But don’t take my word; my cousin, age 37 like Omar, served two tours of duty during the War on Terror. He texted me right away. 

 “I found her comments offensive and completely out of touch,” he told me, clearly frustrated. “Many soldiers I served with suffer from war-related PTSD after putting their lives on the line on a daily basis. I highly doubt her experiences warrant a similar feeling.”

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a rising conservative star and military veteran just two years older than Omar, agreed. He said the first-term congresswoman’s comments were “offensive to our nation’s veterans who really do have PTSD after putting their life on the line to keep America safe.” 

Banks also tweeted Jan. 10 that if Omar hates war, she should thank the Trump administration “for keeping us out of war with Iran, but instead her hate drove her, Pelosi and others to vote to tie POTUS’ hands & prevent our troops from defending themselves in the case of an attack.” 

For background, Banks is not a person of “privilege” as his critics will immediately say, since that’s a common attack line when lacking facts. 

He grew up in an Indiana trailer park while his father worked at an auto plant and mother cooked. With origins in rural Kentucky, Banks was the first college graduate in his family and joined the U.S. Navy at age 33 while serving in the Indiana legislature, deploying to Afghanistan in 2014.

We should not mock the plight of refugees, but Omar’s comparisons are a stretch. She moved to America as a child more than a quarter-century ago and comes from an educated family of civil servants and teachers. According to a glowing 2016 piece in the left-wing Minneapolis City Pages, Omar lived a “blessed life” in Somalia.

Additionally, her views of our country that fought to save her, allowed her family to settle in freedom, and jumpstart her political career just a few years after college graduation no less, remain backwards and appalling. Omar’s unrelenting rancor deserves opprobrium. 

Last summer, she proudly crafted anti-Semitic policy by introducing a resolution supporting Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS)—a rogue movement that the German parliament recently condemned as akin to Nazi campaigns targeting Jews. 

Massive bipartisan opposition (398-17) defeated the execrable measure, and even prominent Democrats concurred that BDS “seeks a world where Israel does not exist.” 

Additionally, in a now notorious March 2019 speech to the Council of American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles, Omar claimed, “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that Muslims in the U.S. were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”  

“Some people did something” and over 3,000 Americans were killed? Talk about minimizing the worst tragedy in American history. Incidentally, CAIR was founded in 1994. Omar, perhaps purposely, changed the date. 

To put it kindly, Democrats struggled to condemn iniquitous comments about Israel and Jews from Omar and her squadmate, the noxious Palestinian propagandist Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) — she of the appalling “Holocaust gives me a calming feeling” rant last May and “Impeach the MFer” the evening of her 2019 inauguration  — but Omar was conveniently not stripped of her Foreign Affairs Committee assignments, as many demanded, nor has she suffered any real punishment. Nancy Pelosi is not too brave.

It is thus no surprise that Omar and Tlaib support repugnant Bernie Sanders for president, a communist and the most anti Israel 2020 candidate. She’s also expressed a fondness for anti-Semitic socialist British politician Jeremy Corbyn, who failed massively in his December prime ministerial bid. 

In fact, Omar maintains outsized influence in the Democrat Party and is one of their top fundraisers (does hate sell?), though her donations and incessant corruption have come under scrutiny. 

Omar had at least nine violations of Minnesota campaign-finance law last year and, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “a pattern of carelessness and/or self-dealing with legally restricted funds.”

In a June piece, which was the most read all of 2019, the paper’s editorial board reprimanded her: 

“Omar’s political rise has been marred by a series of unforced errors, including intemperate remarks and tweets earlier this year that were widely perceived as anti-Semitic. Every month seems to bring a fresh problem. More is expected of her than the symbolism attached to her victory. Omar has a special obligation to be worthy of the trust so many have placed in her, including many still-new Americans who expect better.”

Even from a left-leaning newspaper, this excerpt is damning and not debatable. Never vetted before running for office, Omar continues refusing to answer questions or turn over documents that could debunk what she claims is conspiratorial. 

Investigators with multiple federal agencies finally began reviewing the alleged crimes committed by Omar Jan. 17, mostly centering around her marital history. These include perjury; immigration, student loan and tax fraud; and, yes, bigamy.

As a resident of Greater Minnesota, I can confirm that Omar, who was rushed into her current role by identity politics-obsessed liberals, is disliked across the state. By now she’s probably even alienating voters in the provincial D+28 Fifth congressional district; yet the Somali Muslim somehow faces limited primary opposition and, unless the nascent-but-impressive campaign of Iraqi refugee and war journalist Dalia al-Aqidi catches fire, Omar should win re-election this fall. 

Pres. Trump received just 19 percent of vote in 2016 in the radical urban fifth district, yet more than 50 percent in the rest of Minnesota. 

This was fellow Muslim Keith Ellison’s seat prior, and he was infamously antagonistic to Israel and Jews. Sadly, a place with the largest Jewish population in the Land of 10,000 Lakes — and one of the largest in the Midwest — has been deemed “the anti-Israel seat” since 2007.

Patriots, freedom lovers and honest brokers should continue to expose extremists like Ilhan Omar. When recent weeks saw a massive amount of anti-Jewish attacks in New York (highest in three decades), with a 40 percent national rise to over 1,000 per annum, why are such reprehensibly un-American, anti-Semitic actions tolerated or excused?

A former school teacher and military historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist in various roles since 2006. He has lived in 11 states and currently resides with his wife in Minnesota. 

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Sometimes politics make for strange bedfellows, and other times it makes for “no duh” bedfellows. The Left’s Congressional Freshman phenoms fall into the latter group. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley and their supporters are calling themselves “The Squad.” Although they came from different backgrounds, they are united by their politics, positions, and drive to make the country more progressive.

What makes these four women and their followers so special? I’ve been trying to figure that out since the Left made them their de facto leaders/golden children/rock stars. Are they the next generation of leaders or the political equivalent of Pogs? Let’s find out!

The Squad

What the Left thinks it means – four strong female Congresswomen who represent the future and care about the important issues of the day

What it really means – the personification of identity politics

I have a confession to make. I actually do know why The Squad is being held up as the Great Not-White-At-All Hope, and it has nothing to do with what they do or have done. Their appeal to the Left is literally skin deep. The fact they’re women and progressive only adds to their appeal to many. And the fact they’re all vocal opponents to President Donald Trump makes them the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Which begs the question of how great an invention sliced bread is, but that’s the blog post for another time.

As someone who looks for results rather than hype, I did some digging to see what The Squad has accomplished. In terms of legislative accomplishments, let’s just say I tied them and I wasn’t even trying. Outside of the political realm, they’ve created a great brand that people can identify with, especially on social media. Of course, social media isn’t the real world, so their accomplishments are pretty much the same as mine: being opinionated in cyberspace. The differences, though, are I don’t try to pass stupid legislation while I do it and I’m not wasting taxpayer money to do it. Taxpayer time, yes, but not taxpayer money.

The Squad has also been thorns in the side of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (which makes me laugh because of what her party has done to bring about The Squad and how they repay her with openly suggesting she’s a racist). The same Leftists who propped up Pelosi are now ready to throw her under The Squad bus because…she’s not as progressive as The Squad is! (Quick investment tip: buy a LOT of shares in Orville Redenbacher.) Although this kind of behavior is red meat…sorry, white tofu to the Left, it isn’t working very well with the rest of the population. I can’t account for all of them, but from what I’ve read at least half of The Squad are seeing approval ratings lower than the President’s. Not nationally, mind you. In their own districts.

Granted, The Squad may be in districts safely in Leftist hands, so there may not be reason to worry…except if people decide to challenge them from the Right and the Left. So far, there is at least one known challenger to The Squad’s most vocal leader, the aforementioned Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (a.k.a. the Socialist Socialite), and there is enough time before the 2020 elections for more to join the fray. This has the potential to open a wider rift between The Squad and the Not-Leftist-Enough Democrats, who have watched The Squad go from back-benchers to unintended spokespeople for the Democrats. The impending Leftist civil war is going to be interesting to watch, if only because it underscores the pyrrhic nature of the victory they achieved in 2018 in part because of The Squad.

Congratulations, Leftists. You’ve created the means of your own destruction. But unlike in the original (and vastly funnier) “Ghostbusters,” it’s not a giant marshmallow man coming to destroy you; it’s identity politics which you helped to make mainstream.

Of course, anyone who decides The Squad isn’t all that great will get showered with allegations of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, fascism, white supremacy, patriarchy, Nazism, and other invectives that have become the new slang for the Left (along with copious amounts of vulgarity). The issue is none of the legitimate criticisms raised about The Squad have anything to do with any of that. Sure, there are people out there giving as good as they’re getting, but most of us between the Left and the Right see The Squad not as a powerful force for good, but as a group whose watched their expectations drop lower than a snake’s belt buckle because it’s hip to hate President Trump yet manage to limbo underneath these expectations all while standing upright.

I don’t have an issue with Rep. Ilhan’s faith. I have an issue with her possibly breaking the law repeatedly prior to becoming a Representative.

I don’t have an issue with Rep. Tlaib’s faith, either. I have an issue with her ties to Hamas, a known terrorist organization.

I don’t have an issue with Rep. Pressley’s race. I have an issue with her suggesting there are blacks that should be silent on racial issues because they may not agree with her.

I don’t have an issue with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s gender. I have an issue with her being intellectually and emotionally unsuited to represent herself, let alone her Congressional district.

And collectively, I don’t have an issue with any boxes the members of The Squad can mark off on a checklist. I have an issue with them criticizing others for doing what they do instead of finding a way to bring people together. As the old Spider-Man comics say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Maybe The Squad prefers DC to Marvel, but the point is they still haven’t grasped the concept of leadership, all while putting themselves out there as leaders. The longer The Squad goes unchecked in the political and communication arenas, the harder it will be to topple them.

And, no, I do not condone violence or threats against these women. Beat them with better arguments, not with your fists. And given some of the stupefying things The Squad has said since taking office, you won’t even have to work that hard!

“What is Ilhan Omar’s endgame”? – Guest piece by Ari Kaufman

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Coincidentally, my flight landed at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport just as Thursday’s now-infamous and sycophantic Ilhan Omar rally concluded.

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.

Omar’s shameful, anti-Semitic rhetoric deserves unequivocal condemnation

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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.

Ironically, Omar was easily elected with the support of many Jewish voters in the most heavily-Jewish area of Minnesota. Despite past examples to the contrary, I am certain many in the 5th congressional District — where she received nearly 80% of the vote last November —  had hopes for her to be a unifying and effective politician. To say she’s failed on that matter during her first two months in Washington would be a massive understatement.During her campaign, Omar apparently assured local Jewish groups, including the Minnesota Jewish Community Relations Council, that her past egregious comments on Israel and Judaism wouldn’t be an issue or arise again; yet here we are, with another insult and anti-Semitic statement seemingly occurring every week.

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.

While I was initially pleased to see Democrat leadership finally introduce an anti-Semitism resolution earlier this week, now I am dismayed.
First, the “resolution” was delayed, then, due to blowback from the increasingly anti-Semitic progressive wing, it was tweaked into a clumsy, Kindergarten-level “anti-hate Bill” to “confront the reality of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry” with Omar’s name not even mentioned; though it passed easily, the bill became too broad, lost its teeth and overall purpose. This is all fatuous, to put it mildly.
Meanwhile, far left Democrats, many in the Congressional Black Caucus, and much of the media, along with dozens of Twin Cities politicians and national Muslim groups, are now staging fundraising events in support of Omar’s bigotry.

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.

**

https://www.weeklystandard.com/scott-w-johnson/the-anti-israel-seat

https://www.twincities.com/2019/03/01/ilhan-omar-went-on-a-fence-mending-tour-with-local-jews-then-she-offended-them-again/

https://pjmedia.com/trending/the-morning-briefing-omar-antisemitism-resolution-put-on-hold-and-much-much-more/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/03/06/ilhan-omars-comments-were-anti-semitic-rhetoric-says-adl-talker/3078821002/

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/anti-semitism/dont-believe-ilhan-omar/

https://pjmedia.com/trending/facing-lawsuit-rep-ilhan-omar-deletes-tweet-smearing-covington-catholic-boys/

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.