Ilhan Omar's recent co-sponsorship of a bill recognizing Israel as a legitimate U.S. ally and condemning antisemitism has sparked accusations of hypocrisy, given her past history of making antisemitic remarks and pushing anti-Israel policies.
The bill, which was introduced on February 2, 2023, highlights the importance of diversity in the United States and acknowledges the contributions of various minority communities, including Jewish Americans. The bill also condemns the centuries-long scourge of hate, discrimination, and racism that Jewish Americans have faced.
Antisemitism, one of the oldest forms of hatred, is a recurring issue that has led to the killings of Jews throughout history. The resolution acknowledges that Jewish Americans continue to face antisemitism in various forms in the 21st century, including age-old tropes such as controlling the government and media, yielding too much influence in decision-making bodies, and seeking political, financial, and global dominance in society.
The resolution also rejects the perpetuation of antisemitic tropes, including claims of dual loyalty, control, and other conspiracy theories antithetical to American values. It stands in unity with the Jewish people in the United States and around the world against the rising antisemitism and explicitly condemns antisemitism masquerading as anti-Israel sentiment.
Ilhan Omar's support of this bill is in stark contrast to her past statements and actions.
In 2019, Omar was widely criticized for comments she made about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which many viewed as invoking antisemitic tropes. She suggested that AIPAC was using money to influence American politicians' stances on Israel, saying, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby." Omar was forced to apologize for her comments, and the House passed a resolution condemning antisemitism and other forms of hate speech in response.
Additionally, Omar has been accused of making other antisemitic comments and supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which some view as being rooted in antisemitism. In 2019, the House passed a resolution condemning BDS, which Omar voted against.
This is a lie. @DemMaj4Israel are either ignorant of the movement's positions or purposely misrepresenting them.
BDS opposes Israel's denial of Palestinian rights & dignity.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 26, 2021
Big win for the BDS movement. Let’s go 🙌🏽 https://t.co/8p7IQ3oVtZ
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 25, 2021
Omar has faced criticism for her connections to individuals and groups with alleged ties to terrorism. She has been accused of supporting the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has been linked to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization. In 2019, Omar also came under fire for speaking at a fundraising event for the Muslim American Society, which had been accused of promoting antisemitism in the past.
Omar's co-sponsorship of this bill seems to be a politically-driven attempt to distance herself from her past antisemitic remarks and actions and save her position on the Foreign Affairs Committee, rather than a genuine show of support for Israel and the Jewish people. The same day the bill was filed, the House voted to remove her from the committee due to her long history of antisemitic remarks.