House Foreign Affairs Chair condemns Rep. Ilhan Omar's controversial tweets

McCarthy Pelosi

Dan Shapiro, the USA ambassador to Israel during the Obama administration, harshly criticized Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar for saying that Jewish groups buy support for Congress to be pro-Israel, saying in a tweet that her comments are "a vile anti-Semitic trope [that] need to be condemned by all in our party". She was posting in response to a tweet by follower Glenn Greenwald, who wrote that "it's stunning how much time U.S. political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans".

The tweet she reportedly reposted was from Joshua Zeitz, a historian.

Citing the tweet, Omar replied, "AIPAC!". The overwhelming majority of Members of Congress believe in a solution that provides for two states for two peoples-directly negotiated by the parties-because is it the only way to a meaningful, lasting and secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians that recognizes the needs, interests, and concerns of both peoples.

The flap started over a tweet from Omar that said, "It's all about the Benjamins baby", and included a music-note emoji, an apparent reference to the 1997 Puff Daddy single featuring the Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim and The Lox.

Omar's tweet implied that McCarthy was only calling for punishment against her and fellow Democratic House member Rashida Tlaib because of financial support from the pro-Israel lobby.

Omar's response went viral and many accused her of promoting the anti-Semitic trope that Jews conspire to control government leaders by throwing loads of cash at them.

Instead of clearing the air about the previous antisemitic post, Omar continued with a response: "AIPAC!".

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"As Jewish Members of Congress, we are deeply alarmed by recent rhetoric from certain members within our Caucus, including just last night, that has disparaged us and called into question our loyalty to our nation", Reps.

"As Americans and Jews, we expect our politicians to condemn bigotry, not to fuel it. Words matter".

Neither Omar's office in Minnesota nor in Washington immediately responded for comment to Newsweek when asked about the tweet, which appears to invoke an old anti-Semitic stereotype portraying Jews as rich, and using their wealth to orchestrate political affairs.

She was subsequently criticized by prominent public figures including Chelsea Clinton.

Shapiro said he and others "remained uncomfortably quiet after her [boycott, divestment, sanctions] BDS flip-flop &other offensive remarks because we were aware of efforts to work with her: by colleagues, party leaders, her local Jewish community in MN".

"Omar has many colleagues who've modeled how to strike this balance for years: supporting Israel's security &legitimacy &close US-Isr ties, supporting 2 states for 2 peoples, criticizing each side when warranted, differing with/Trump's approach that helps entrench the conflict", Shapiro tweeted.

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