The anti-Semitism of hijabbed Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has apparently gotten to be too much even for the inveterately anti-Israel Democrat Party leadership. “I unequivocally apologize,” Omar tweeted Monday, after party leaders including Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, James E. Clyburn and others publicly castigated her: “Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”
However, Omar’s apology was more of an admission that she had gotten caught than a sign of a genuine change of heart.
Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.
At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.
Omar’s second paragraph nullified her apology. She had claimed that AIPAC was paying American politicians to be pro-Israel; she made it clear in her apology that she still believes that. All her widely criticized anti-Semitic tweets, meanwhile, are still on her Twitter feed.
It all started when far-Left hate propagandist Glenn Greenwald tweeted: “GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for
@IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel.” To that, Omar responded: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” The Forward’s Opinion editor, Batya Ungar-Sargon, then tweeted: “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess.” Omar answered: “AIPAC!” And clearly she still believes it.
It isn’t hard to see how Ilhan Omar’s Congressional career will unfold: she will continue to repeat anti-Semitic tropes; she will blame jihad massacres on the US, Israel, and the victims; and she will continue to claim victim status when called out for her hatred. Omar is a far Leftist and a devout, Sharia-adherent Muslim; neither group is distinguished for mavericks or original thinkers. In fact, both are marked by an ideological lockstep that brooks no dissent, disagreement, or fair consideration of opposing ideas. That makes Omar’s future drearily predictable.
And so when considering the sincerity of Omar’s apology, it should be borne in mind that she wouldn’t be where she is today, in the House of Representatives, if her views were not widely shared among the very Democrat leadership that rebuked her Monday.
For it isn’t as if Omar’s anti-Semitic tweets from this week were something new. Before she was elected to Congress, she had denounced what she called “the apartheid Israeli regime,” and claimed that it Israel had “hypnotized the world” to ignore its “evil doings.” Nancy Pelosi either knew this or was criminally negligent when she named Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Democrat Party during the Obama years hardened its stance against Israel. Omar was only able to rise in its ranks and gain a plum assignment as a first-term Representative not in spite of her anti-Semitism, but because of it. A January 2018 Pew Research Center poll found that only 27 percent of Democrats sympathized more with the Israelis than with the Palestinians.
This is extraordinary in light of the fact that both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas routinely incite hatred of and violence against Israel in their official media organs. They teach children that it is a good and noble thing to want to grow up and kill Jews. The Democrats have for years ignored this genocidal incitement, and approved of and even participated in the demonization of Israel in the international media and at the United Nations.
And so now the Democrats are appalled at their Muslim Representative’s Jew-hatred, and she is contrite? Do they really expect anyone to fall for this charade? It is noteworthy that while the cowardly Republican House leadership stripped Rep. Steve King (R-IA) of his committee assignments for a misquote, Omar has not been removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Nor will she be removed. She is exactly where the Democrat leadership wants her to be.
* * *
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.