Letters | May 3, 2019


Ilhan Omar and Other Anti-Semites

Do you remember Sandy Duncan’s 1981 commercial about Nabisco’s Wheat Thins, where she tells you that she loves dancing just as much as she loves eating Wheat Thins, “One after the other!” That commercial reminds me of the anti-Semitic comments that have been said by Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, “One after the other!”

Omar has weaponized her position and authority to launch attacks against Israel and the Jews. She has tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

The Congresswoman’s vilification of Israel and the Jews has set a precedent for a sitting U.S. politician to publically malign an entire race of people. The danger of not specifically dealing with legislators like Omar who have brazenly percolated anti-Semitic tropes is that our government can easily be corrupted with systemic racism such as what is occurring in the British Labor Party with Jeremy Corbyn as its current leader.

Omar has also taken a swipe at the American Israel Public affairs Committee,(AIPAC). Omar inferred that U.S. politicians are swayed by “political influence in this country that says its OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Omar’s classic anti-Semitic canard against AIPAC is eerily similar to Hitler’s abhorrent slur against the Jews when he blamed the persecution of the Jews (in Germany during World War II) on the “Jewish lobby overseas.” Old anti-Semitic tropes never die. They just keep circulating throughout the ages, with new names and new accusers.

According to reports filed with the U.S. Department of Justice, South Korea and Japan outrank Israel in their efforts to “pay foreign agents to influence U.S. policy and opinion in pursuit of those interests.” Israel’s main interests are security concerns and democracy ties with the U.S. What Omar and her supporters fail to mention is the fact that Muslim-Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are also paying foreign agents to influence U.S. policy. Other countries including Ireland, China and Canada are part of this influence buying activity. AIPAC does not directly contribute to candidates and it does not give money to PACs supporting candidates. According to their website, “The mission of AIPAC is to strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.- Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of the United States and Israel.”

Omar has anti-Semitic cohorts like David Duke (former Louisiana congressman and white supremacist), Linda Sarsour (political activist and anti-Semite) and Louis Farrakhan (head of the Nation of Islam and virulent anti-Semite). Duke has encouraged Omar’s tirades against the Jews, calling her “the most important member of congress.” In 1985, during an interview with Evelyn Rich about the KKK, Duke was upset that there were Holocaust survivors and stated that “The Nazis were sure inefficient, weren’t they!?” Linda Sarsour also praised Omar for her malevolent slurs against the Jews. Sarsour once said, “Nothing is creepier than Zionism!” Sarsour also worked with other political activists to dilute the House Resolution that would have “exclusively” condemned anti-Semitic statements from U.S. politicians. Another admirer of Omar, Louis Farrakhan has called Jews, “termites.” Recently he clarified his statement that the “termite” reference actually refers to the “richest 10 percent of Americans” and those Jews who own “84 percent of all stocks.”

There is not another race of people that government officials would be permitted to publically denigrate, yet Omar has continued spouting her Jewish conspiracies with no authentic contrition and full of unfettered malice. Omar is faulted for her own actions, but the majority of the Democratic Party has winked at her transgressions. The House of Representatives did pass a resolution to deal with bigotry, but it was too broad. There should have been a resolution to deal specifically with anti-Semitism and Omar should have been publically reprimanded by a congressional censure. Anti-Semitism stands alone as a monumental evil towering above all bigotry. Driven by hatred and buoyed by complicit cowardice; it’s aims are to assassinate the character of an entire race of people and to open the door to a second Holocaust.

Marcia Brunelli
Havertown, Pa.

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