Ilhan Omar, AIPAC, Congress, and the Future of American Democracy


Global Justice in the 21st Century

The Ilhan Omar Incident: A Zionist Witch Hunt?

[Prefatory Note: the post below is somewhat modified text of my responses to a series of questions posed by Daniel Falcone with whom I have done several prior online interview. This interview was published under a different title by CounterPunch on March 14, 2019. It addresses the attack upon the Somali born Ilhan Omar, elected from the 5thCongressional District to the U.S. House of Representative in the November 2018 midterm electios. Omar was sharply attacked, defamed, and threatened for making comments about Israeli influence on American lawmaking that were alleged to be anti-Semitic, or more precisely, ‘anti-Semitic tropes.’ The issues raised are important both to suggest continuing. Reliance by pro-Israeli militants on these kinds of tactics, and for the fact that there was an encouraging willingness of some mainstream refusal to acquiesce. The attack on Omar has been…

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4 thoughts on “Ilhan Omar, AIPAC, Congress, and the Future of American Democracy

    1. Aaron,

      While (of course) we totally disagree with the slanderous assertion distinguished law Professor Richard Falk is a liar, we shall nonetheless not censor but post the extremely divisive comment to increase awareness in future readers.

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      1. And, from my friend Dr. Howard:

        On Monday, Democrats called on Rep. Ilhan Omar to apologize for once again tweeting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, this time about rich Jews pulling the strings of American politicians.

        So she responded with a tweet apologizing “unequivocally” for not realizing that Jews were so touchy about Antisemitism.

        And then, in that tweet, she trashed AIPAC for its “problematic role” in American politics.

        What’s the point, exactly, of asking anti-Semites—or any bigots—to apologize for their bigotry?

        There are a few ways to look at it. Do you want them to express regret about being bigoted?

        Do you want them to express regret about giving voice to their bigotry?

        Do you really just want them to do a better job of pretending not to be a bigot?

        In the end, it doesn’t matter, because none of these positions changes the fact of their bigotry.

        Omar’s very apology contained paranoia about AIPAC.

        Asking for an apology is an immoral response to Antisemitism because it’s designed to allow the anti-Semite to move past her offense.

        In the public sphere, these apologies become a licensing fee paid by people like Omar every time they want to sound off about the evil Jews.

        She “apologizes,” people praise her willingness to learn and grow, and the headlines shift from her offense to the hysterics who won’t let her be.

        The only ones who benefit here are the bigots and their allies.

        In the case of Omar, those allies are either her fellow Democrats trying to do damage control or anti-Semites who are thrilled to see one of their own successfully playing the game.

        Then there are those who aren’t her allies but still encourage and seem heartened by these apologies.

        These are good people, some of them Jews and conservatives, who want to believe that the real problem is Omar’s lack of knowledge and that it can be addressed through greater “dialogue.”

        They see in her semi-apologies evidence of an upright and amenable character.

        This is a nice thought but, as Martin Luther King wrote, “shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”

        These decent people make claims about Omar’s willingness to grow and change despite all evidence to the contrary.

        The truth is, Omar is almost 40 years old, and she’s being handled like a child.

        Her Antisemitism is in keeping with her worldview. It’s no more susceptible to dialogue than is Bernie Sanders’s socialism.

        If Omar, or any anti-Semite, has a genuine epiphany and renounces her Jew-hatred, that’s a different story. In such cases, no one needs coercing to tweet out a fake apology.

        Repentant bigots tend to be very vocal about having changed their ways.

        You know them when you see them.

        That’s not Ilhan Omar.

        The only proper response to anti-Semites in public life is to expose them and get them out of power.

        Every requested apology strengthens their position.

        That’s what it’s supposed to do.

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        1. Aaron,

          We deleted your other comments with links, to be honest because we don’t trust your intentions. With regard to Dr. Howard, please provide the man or woman’s first name, and any biographical information such as field of academics, personal relationships with well-known Israeli Zionists, etc. if you wish. Do you consider either yourself or Dr. Howard as advocates or adherents to the Talmud? If not, why not … and if so, why? We’d be interested in learning your assessment of the Talmud and an approximation of its perceived influence in Israel.

          Like

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