Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter Tuesday after he indirectly singled her out during his televised address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington.
Omar faced significant backlash for her February criticisms of AIPAC when she said it’s “all about the Benjamins, baby,” and suggested that AIPAC’s money was to blame for American support of Israel. Then, during a town hall at a Washington, D.C. coffee shop, Omar said she wants to “talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
The comments were widely rebuked for invoking the anti-Semitic dual-loyalty trope, which Netanyahu addressed during his Tuesday speech.
“In recent weeks, we’ve heard a lot of about the rise of forces who want to pull America and Israel apart. So I can tell you one thing, I can guarantee this: they will fail. They will fail. Our shared values are too deep, our shared interests too strong, our shared destiny too intertwined,” Netanyahu said.
“Those who seek to defame this great organization, AIPAC, those who seek to undermine American support for Israel, they must be confronted. Despite what they claim, they do not merely criticize the policies of Israel’s government. They do something else. They spew venom that has long been directed at the Jewish people. Again, the Jews are cast as a force for evil. Again, the Jews are charged with disloyalty. Again, the Jews are said to have too much influence, too much power, too much money,” he continued.
Then, responding to Omar, he said: “Take it from this Benjamin, it’s not about the Benjamins.”
"Yesterday at the White House, @POTUS @realDonaldTrump again made history. He formally recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. That deserves enormous applause!" pic.twitter.com/PQ58dqxhEr
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) March 26, 2019
“At this year’s AIPAC conference, the topic Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to focus on was … me,” Omar responded in a lengthy Twitter thread. “We are not even six months out from the Pittsburgh massacre. We are not even two weeks out from the Christchurch massacre. Yet the topic Netanyahu chose to focus on was … me.”
At this year’s AIPAC conference, the topic PM Netanyahu chose to focus on was…me.https://t.co/HbomAHmh9Y
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 26, 2019
“I—like so many others—have not criticized AIPAC because of its membership or the country it advocates for. I’ve criticized it because it has repeatedly opposed efforts to guarantee peace and human rights in the region,” she continued. “Netanyahu and the GOP may want to make this about one Muslim-American refugee’s views, but I am not alone.”
– – –
Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Benjamin Netanyahu” by Benjamin Netanyahu. Background Photo “AIPAC” by Lorie Schaull. CC BY-SA 4.0.