Ilhan Omar has once again thrust herself into the spotlight by joining fellow congresswoman Rashida Tlaib in shunning a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel and announcing their intent to instead schedule an independent trip – sponsored by the notoriously anti-Israel nongovernmental organization Miftah – to the Jewish state. But Israel’s government – in accordance with an Israeli law barring the issuance of visas to any foreigners who, like Omar and Tlaib, advocate economic and cultural boycotts against Israel – stated that the two congresswomen would not be permitted to enter the country. Omar described Israel’s move as “an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”
But in reality, this self-proclaimed champion of “democratic values” has cultivated a long track record of Jew-hatred and a pronounced affinity for radical Islamists.
In November 2012, for instance – just a few days after Gaza-based Hamas terrorists had launched more than 150 deadly rockets into the Jewish state, prompting an Israeli military response – Omar tweeted that “the apartheid Israeli regime” had “hypnotized the world” in order to conceal its own “evil doings.”
In a 2013 interview on the Twin Cities PBS show Belahdan, Omar mocked Americans for the anxiety they felt about Islamic terrorists: “When I was in college, I took a terrorism class…. The thing that was interesting in the class was every time the professor said ‘Al Qaeda’ his shoulders went up.” She then chuckled as she imitated the professor saying “Al Qaeda” and “Hezbollah.” “But you know,” added Omar, “it is that you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘England’ with an intensity. You don’t say ‘the army’ with an intensity. But you say these names [Al Qaeda and Hezbollah] because you want that word to carry weight. You want it to leave something…. It’s said with a deeper voice.” (See video)
During her tenure with the Minneapolis City Council from 2013-15, Omar acknowledged that she was a friend of several young men who had joined al-Shabab, a Somali jihadist terror group allied with al-Qaeda, several years earlier. “They were happy young men,” said Omar. “And then at some point, something happened. And that is what needs to be researched and studied. What is happening to make them feel disconnected from a community that has birthed them, that has nurtured them?”
Over the years, Omar has given multiple interviews to the Arab-American television host Ahmed Tharwat, who: (a) characterizes Israel as the “Jewish ISIS,” and (b) has compared members of Hamas to victims of the Holocaust. In the wake of a 2013 Islamic terrorist bombing that killed nearly 70 people in a Kenyan shopping mall, Omar and Tharwat discussed how news of that attack may have affected the way Americans were treating Muslims in the United States. When Tharwat asserted that “terrorism is a reaction” to injustices inflicted by the U.S. and other antagonists, Omar agreed:
“Yes…. Nobody wants to face how the actions of the other people that are involved in the world have contributed to the rise of the radicalization and the rise of terrorist acts…. Nobody wants to take accountability of how these are byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs.”
A few days after her election to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November 2016, Omar wrote a letter asking a Minneapolis judge to be lenient in sentencing nine young Somali-born men who had been found guilty of attempting to join the terrorist group ISIS. In her letter, Omar maintained that long prison terms would ultimately lead to the tragedy of unproductive lives and unrealized potential for the perpetrators. “The desire to commit violence is not inherent to people,” she explained. “It is the consequence for [sic] alienation.”
In 2016 as well, Omar stated that she was in favor of completely divesting the University of Minnesota of its Israel bonds. The following year, she opposed a bill designed to counter economic boycotts targeting the Jewish state. While making her case against the 2017 legislation, Omar likened Israel to apartheid South Africa.
In 2017, Omar was one of only two Minnesota House members (out of 129) to vote against a bill to allow life-insurance companies to deny payouts to the beneficiaries of people who died while committing acts of terrorism. That same year, she was one of just four House members to oppose legislation that would make it a felony for parents to subject their daughters to female genital mutilation, a common practice in some Muslim cultures.
Just five days after winning her congressional race on November 6, 2018, the publication Muslim Girl reported that Omar “believes in and supports” the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative aimed at financially crippling the state of Israel.
On February 10, 2019, Omar tweeted her opinion that the pro-Israel lobby organization AIPAC — an American entity that receives much funding from American Jews but no funding from the state of Israel — was guilty of paying U.S. politicians to take positions favorable to Israel. “It’s all about the Benjamins [$100 bills], baby,” she wrote in a separate tweet quoting a 1997 rap song by Puff Daddy.
On March 7, 2019, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke praised Omar for her repeated expressions of disdain for Israel and the Jewish people. “By Defiance to Z.O.G. [Zionist Occupation Government]” he tweeted, “Ilhan Omar is NOW the most important Member of the US Congress!”
In March 2019 in Los Angeles, Omar was the keynote speaker at a benefit event sponsored by the Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Sharing the stage with Omar was CAIR-Florida executive director Hassan Shibly, who rejects the notion that Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organizations.
This past April, Omar called for the release of Hoda Abdelmonem, a senior Muslim Brotherhood member who had been detained in Egypt since November 2018 as part of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s crackdown on the Brotherhood’s activities in his nation.
And just last month, Omar and fellow Democrats Rashida Tlaib and John Lewis co-sponsored a House Resolution supporting the BDS movement and comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany.
From the very start of her political career to the present day, Ilhan Omar has shown herself to be one of the most vocal, unapologetic Jew-haters in the U.S. Congress.
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