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Attacks on Ilhan Omar seek to derail an acknowledgment of Palestinian suffering

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In the US, just as in Israel, Palestinian suffering is silenced, and any mainstream discussion of pain in Palestine immediately gets redirected towards sympathy with Israel.  And as Israel is successfully conflated in mainstream discourse with “the Jewish people,” a supposedly homogeneous global community whose members all embrace Zionism, criticism of Israel, or of Zionism, becomes an act of bad faith, an act of antisemitism.  

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is the latest public figure to be smeared with such false accusations of antisemitism by Zionists who are alarmed at the growing support for Palestinians in Congress.  Her tweet about the power of AIPAC does not state anything multiple other commentators had not acknowledged years before.  In the stormy aftermath of her post, many have noted that Thomas Friedman himself quipped in 2011 that the standing ovation Benjamin Netanyahu received in US Congress had nothing to do with his charisma or eloquence, but was “paid for by the Israel lobby.”  AIPAC itself, on its website, speaks of making donations to US politicians.  Omar was not “exposing” some deeply-concealed secret, she was stating a very well known fact.  But unlike Friedman, she was being critical of it, and she was doing so from within Congress. As Sandra Tamari of the Adalah Justice Project posted on Facebook:  “Palestinian organizers have won the left. We’ve won campuses. We’ve won other communities of color. Ilhan is being attacked because we are destined to win Congress.”

The fierceness of the attacks on Omar is indicative of the panic of Zionists of all stripes (yes, there is a broad spectrum) over the fact that we now have courageous incoming politicians who denounce the Israel Lobby, and are determined to center, and end, Palestinian suffering.  Ilhan Omar was not taken to task, “reprimanded” (what an offensive term) because of a poor choice of words. She is being hounded for the cause she embraces. No eloquence, no refined terminology, would make Palestine palatable to Zionists. They are coming after her, just as they came after every public intellectual, every activist, every organizer, who ascended to a public podium and advocated justice for Palestine. And her being a black, Muslim, immigrant woman puts her under increased scrutiny.   

Sadly, the debate ensuing within progressive circles is once again proving to derail the critical issue:  Palestinian suffering. In this context, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet commending Omar on her apology is extremely disappointing, as it suggests naivete on the part of Omar. “Unlike this President, Rep. [Omar] demonstrated a capacity to acknowledge pain & apologize, use the opportunity to learn abt history of antisemitism,+grow from it while clarifying her stance. I’m also inspired by Jewish leadership who brought her in, not push her out, to heal,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

As Ocasio-Cortez commends Ilhan Omar on taking the time to “acknowledge pain,” what exactly is she suggesting? Is Ocasio-Cortez insinuating that Omar is unaware that Jews have historically experienced discrimination against them, and has not been sufficiently schooled in Jewish suffering?  Why isn’t “pain” qualified, so as to suggest that more than one community suffers? Or was Ocasio-Cortez asking Omar to return to the exceptionalist herd, where the “capacity to acknowledge pain” seemingly only corresponds to a greater knowledge of the history of antisemitism?

Even with that knowledge, Ilhan Omar has chosen to also listen to the pain, the screams, of another people—pain and screams that the US, like Israel, have historically tried to muffle.  The fury and panic following Omar’s tweet, then, are attempts at derailing her, redirecting towards antisemitism so as to yet again ignore Palestinian suffering.

Every year, on September 11, I re-read Emmanuel Ortiz’s powerful poem, “A Moment of Silence,” about catastrophic suffering around the world.  Let us take a moment of silence, Ortiz asks his audience, in honor of those who died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  And could we also take a moment of silence, he adds, for “all those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes.” In his poem, Ortiz asks for a full month of silence in honor of the Palestinians.  The fact is, we have had decades of censorship and efforts to derail those who seek to address our plight. Even now, as Omar’s comment about AIPAC fuels a vibrant and necessary debate about the powers behind the US support for Israel, we are losing sight of the issue at hand: Palestinian suffering.

We want silence no more.   Now is the moment for us and for all our allies to speak out, as loud as we can.  So yes, maybe Omar could have written a better tweet. But It doesn’t really matter.  I know I could have written a better essay. That’s not what matters. If our screams are harsh, don’t blame us:  the tortured, the gagged, the hounded, don’t have the luxury of fine tuning their screams.

Nada Elia

Nada Elia is a Palestinian scholar-activist, writer, and grassroots organizer, currently completing a book on Palestinian Diaspora activism.

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50 Responses

  1. Boomer on February 14, 2019, 1:40 pm

    Thank you for this fine statement; it is very much on point. A point mostly hidden in MSM discourse.

    As for Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet commending Omar on her apology, it is indeed “extremely disappointing.” It may suggest naivete on the part of Omar, but it also may suggest a cynical acceptance of an unjust reality on the part of Ocasio-Cortez.

    • Citizen on February 14, 2019, 3:34 pm

      Neither young woman is naive about Israel or the Palestinians, or the US “special relationship].” But both are somewhat naive in how to make a strong statement about this situation without tripping off easily tossed smears due to rhetoric used. This has been more so with Omar, but I’m sure she has learned the lesson. With AOC, she has at least temporarily decided not to use the term “occupation” –perhaps she will use it again, but next time with awareness exactly how the term is used in international law? This, instead of saying she “used the wrong words.” They could use some support from their congressional peers, for sure. I’m surprised the congress women who pushed for a law to punish Israel for its treatment of Palestinian children will help, but I didn’t see her say anything.

      • Boomer on February 16, 2019, 7:22 pm

        I read Nada’s use of the term to imply that AOC was simultaneously excusing and casting shade on Omar. I could be wrong. Whatever was meant by Nada or by AOC, I agree that these women are not, in fact, naive. Omar knowingly spoke a truth about a Power that has the power to cause people to silence themselves about it out of fear. The boy in the fable who said that the Emperor was naked was naive. Omar clearly is not.

      • Maghlawatan on February 17, 2019, 10:12 pm

        O think Omar and AOC know how to play the game

        US politics is about leveraging Americans into position and Israel is a whorehouse

        Hegemony is never settled

        Interesting article here about Mossad and neutralising threats in the past

        They never could neutralise the biggest threat . Zionist inhumanity and the shonda for the goys

        The US is going to get a new economic system

        The US needs “some sort of synthesis on the larger postindustrial/populism war. Over a century ago industrialisation brought on culture clash between agrarian populist and the genteel Victorian aristocrats.  Theodore Roosevelt transcended the fight by inventing a new kind of American nationalism. Meanwhile the progressives cleaned up elite corruption and nurtured a square deal for those left behind by technological change. Cultural leaders introduced new institutions and community forms like the Boy Scouts and the settlement house that drew from both cultures replaced them.  Today we need another grand synthesis that can move us beyond the current divide, a synthesis that is neither redneck nor hipster but draws from both worlds to create a new social vision progress on guns will be possible when the culture war subsides, not before. ”

        AIPAC and thé NRA are polarisers whose services will no longer be required

        AOC and Omar know that.
        Ya ni

      • Mooser on February 18, 2019, 12:06 pm

        ” Theodore Roosevelt transcended…/…Boy Scouts…guns will be possible…not before. ”

        The f–king NYTimes, what the…

        Oh, I see, David Brooks wrote it. Never mind.

    • Misterioso on February 15, 2019, 8:37 am


      “Bernie Sanders Called Ilhan Omar to Offer His Support Amid Anti-Semitism Controversy”
      The Daily Beast, Feb. 14/19 By Gideon Resnick

      “The senator privately reached out to Omar after she was criticized by both parties for trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes while criticizing U.S. policy on Israel.”

      “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reached out to Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday to offer his support amid criticism from both Democrats and Republicans that the progressive freshman lawmaker trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes on Twitter.

      “Omar’s office confirmed that the congresswoman spoke with Sanders—who is Jewish—but the conversation was off-record and so they could not go into further details about the contents of the discussion. A source familiar with the conversation confirmed to The Daily Beast that Sanders expressed support for Omar.

      “Earlier on Thursday, Jewish Insider reported that Sanders was asked about Omar’s tweets on a conference call hosted by James Zogby, founder of the Arab American Institute and a former member of the Democratic National Committee’s executive committee.

      “’I talked to Ilhan last night to give her my personal support,’ Sanders was quoted as saying. ‘We will stand by our Muslim brothers and sisters.’

      “Zogby told The Daily Beast the call was off-record when contacted about the veracity of the reporting, but the source familiar with the lawmakers’ conversation confirmed the Jewish Insider story.

      “Omar apologized Monday after Democratic leadership condemned a series of tweets—including one in which she wrote ‘It’s all about the Benjamins’ —suggesting that many fellow lawmakers are beholden to the pro-Israel lobbying interests of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

      “’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,’ she said in her apology. ‘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.’

      “Some progressive allies have perceived the attacks on her as being disingenuous and have since thanked Sanders for reaching out.

      “’Ilhan is a vital, important new leader in Congress–and she’s been facing a slew of Islamophobic attacks,’ Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn Political Action told The Daily Beast. ‘We’re proud to have supported her in her primary and general election campaign. We’re eager to continue supporting her strong, principled leadership on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and across our shared priorities. She apologized for her tweet, and these endless bad-faith attempts to attack and undermine the only two Muslim women in the House need to stop.'”

      • Stephen Shenfield on February 16, 2019, 2:55 pm

        My inclination is to dismiss the accusation of ‘trafficking tropes’ as fashionable gibberish, but it may be worth trying to fathom its meaning and analyze its use as a political weapon. ‘Trope hunters’ start from the indisputable fact that anti-Semites have traditionally used certain ideas, such as a Jewish conspiracy that accumulates power behind the scenes using monetary, magical and other means, or the thirst of Jews for Gentile blood, and corresponding images of the Jew as a snake, octopus, leech etc. These ideas and images are for some reason called ‘tropes.’

        Much less indisputably, trope hunters then claim that any statement about Jews even faintly reminiscent of any of these tropes causes enormous distress to Jews, poor ultra-sensitive creatures that we are. And from this it follows that any such statement is a horrendous crime to be passionately denounced and humbly apologized for (as Ilhan has duly done).

        How does this ‘trope trope’ function as a political weapon?

        First, it diverts attention away from the truth or falsehood of the statement labeled as trope-connected. Second, it delegitimizes that statement irrespective of whether it is true or false (especially, perhaps, if it is true).

        As it is difficult to talk about matters concerning Jews without at least occasionally coming out with a statement capable of being labeled trope-connected, anyone wanting to talk about Jewish matters is compelled to be constantly on guard against inadvertently making such a boo-boo, thereby diverting energy away from substantive issues and deterring many people from talking about Jewish matters at all, except in private with trusted friends.

      • MHughes976 on February 16, 2019, 5:22 pm

        Brilliant remarks from Stephen!

      • Mooser on February 16, 2019, 6:33 pm

        And it also works the other way round, too. Look at the social and political boundaries we are setting for ourselves with the ‘new antisemitism’ (any criticism of Israel or Zionism=antisemitism)

        So at this point the people who believe there are unbridgeable, hierarchical chasms between people are our friends and those advocating human rights our enemies?

      • Citizen on February 17, 2019, 4:31 am

        “these ideas and images are for some reason called ‘tropes.’”

        Because a trope is a use of figurative language & metaphor, and it’s also the noun meaning a recurrent and/or significant theme.

        Seems to me, and I may be wrong, the tropes we are talking about both historically and currently resonate with directly opposite POVs, depending on which “camp “you are from. In a Hegelian way, very few people, if any, of real influence, social, psychological cultural analysts, historians, for example, have offered up a synthesis from the two thesis phenomena. Perhaps they have always been pushed to the fringe and thereby buried by the POTB.

    • Misterioso on February 15, 2019, 1:20 pm

      @Boomer, et al

      Re: Ilhan Omar versus Elliott Abrams:

      “The massacre Trump’s envoy to Venezuela wants us to forget”
      The Washington Post – Today’s Worldview, Feb. 15/19

      “Skeletons in the Closet” By Ishaan Tharoor.

      “’I fail to understand,’ the congresswoman said at a hearing Wednesday, ‘why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful.’

      “The politician in question was freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Her interlocutor was Elliott Abrams, the veteran national security official recently installed by the Trump administration as Washington’s special envoy to Venezuela. Omar, who weathered a storm of controversy this week over her tweets about the financial influence of a pro-Israel lobby group, was now heaping scrutiny on the diplomat’s checkered career.

      “Abrams, Omar reminded the hearing, had pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information from Congress — essentially lying over the Iran-contra affair in the late 1980s while serving as an official in the Reagan administration. In 1992, though, he was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush and later joined the younger Bush’s National Security Council. Out of office, he has remained a fixture in Washington’s foreign policy establishment as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

      “But Omar was not so impressed. She pushed him on an earlier chapter of his career, when, as a prominent State Department official in the Reagan administration, Abrams led the American coverup of a hideous massacre in the Salvadoran village of El Mozote. In December 1981, the U.S.-backed Salvadoran army, locked in a struggle with leftist guerrillas, slaughtered at least 800 civilians in the town as part of its brutal counterinsurgency. On Wednesday, Abrams balked at Omar’s line of questioning, deeming it ‘ridiculous.’

      “’The back-and-forth refocused a spotlight on controversies that have trailed Abrams, 71, during a half-century in public life,’ wrote The Post’s Isaac Stanley-Becker. ‘And it revealed the moral trade-offs involved in the hawkish role that he has advanced for the United States — a global posture that Trump once purported to reject but has increasingly embraced, including by maintaining that military intervention in Venezuela is ‘an option.’ ‘

      “As footage of the exchange went viral on social media, Beltway insiders and foreign policy veterans rallied in defense of Abrams, arguing that a dark chapter nearly four decades ago need not negate a lifetime of public service. ‘Elliott Abrams is a devoted public servant who has contributed much of his professional life to our country,’ tweeted Nicholas Burns, a former senior State Department official. ‘It’s time to build bridges in America and not tear people down.’

      “Francisco Toro, a dissident Venezuelan writer, wheeled on Omar for focusing on the death squads of a long-defunct regime, rather than the current abuses of the one in Caracas. ‘Showcasing astonishing insensitivity to the victims of a human rights catastrophe that is still ongoing today, she disgraced her perch in Congress and scored an invaluable propaganda victory to the regime sponsoring the exact type of human rights abuses she imagines herself to be opposing,’ Toro wrote for The Post’s Global Opinions.

      “Many others, though, commended Omar for raising the ghosts of the past. Abrams’s lengthy career, argued Esquire’s Charles Pierce, seemed proof that in Washington ‘there is no limit to the number of peasants on your butcher’s bill that would keep you from government work.’

      “’If you are going to appoint someone who has a history of lying to Congress about human rights abuses to be the special envoy for a brewing humanitarian crisis,’ noted Dan Drezner in PostEverything, ‘it is entirely fair to question him about prior acts of bad faith.’

      “The massacre at El Mozote occurred just before Abrams assumed his post as assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs in the Reagan administration. News of the brutal killings and rapes that took place there and in surrounding hamlets — considered some of the worst atrocities in modern Latin American history — reached the United States via the front pages of the New York Times and The Washington Post.

      “The Post’s Alma Guillermoprieto, who reached El Mozote in January 1982, found ‘dozens of decomposing bodies,’ left to molder for a month in the ruins of the flattened village and adjacent fields. In a central square, she entered a church where many of the village’s men had been taken and executed. ‘The walls of the smaller sacristy beside it also appeared to have had its adobe walls pushed in,’ she wrote. ‘Inside, the stench was overpowering, and countless bits of bones — skulls, rib cages, femurs, a spinal column — poked out of the rubble.’

      “Later reports uncovered other acts of barbarism. ‘We could hear the women being raped on the hills,’ one witness told journalist Mark Danner, author of ‘The Massacre at El Mozote: A Parable of the Cold War.’ ‘And then, you know, the soldiers would pass by, coming from there, and they’d talk about it. You know, they were talking and joking, saying how much they liked the 12-year-olds.’

      “Men were beheaded with machetes, women raped and left to die, children had their skulls crushed in under the boots of soldiers.”

      “At the time, Abrams worked to suppress news of the massacre, dismissing the news reports as not ‘credible’ and enabling the propaganda of the guerrillas. ‘He was the point of the spear of the Reagan administration in denying a massacre had taken place at El Mozote,’ Danner said in an interview with Today’s WorldView. He added that, for Abrams, human rights violations like this ‘were really nothing’ compared with the grave danger perceived by the Reagan administration of left-wing, pro-Soviet victory in Central America.”

  2. Boomer on February 14, 2019, 2:23 pm

    PS: after seeing so much of the typical Zionist perspective on this in WaPo, it was nice to see this:

    • JWalters on February 14, 2019, 6:51 pm

      Great article, thanks! This means both the New York Times and the Washington Post have now run op-eds on the fact that the Palestinian side of the story has been systematically suppressed. Simply acknowledging the suppression of one half of the story is a breakthrough. Acknowledging it in the nations’ two major newspapers tells the Zionists a new day is dawning. The blackout of truth is ending.

      • johneill on February 14, 2019, 11:43 pm

        mairav zonsein is a treasure

      • annie on February 15, 2019, 3:01 am


  3. JLewisDickerson on February 14, 2019, 3:04 pm

    RE: “Her [i.e., Ilhan Omar’s] tweet about the power of AIPAC does not state anything multiple other commentators had not acknowledged years before. “ ~ Nada Elia

    MY COMMENT: Or, earlier today!

    “This Is How AIPAC Really Works” | By M.J. Rosenberg | | February 14, 2019
    An AIPAC and Capitol Hill veteran explains the lobby’s tactics of reward and retribution.
    LINK ~

    • JWalters on February 14, 2019, 7:22 pm

      Thanks! The first paragraph in that article is brilliant!

    • Boomer on February 15, 2019, 7:15 am

      I second the thanks. He knows the truth and expresses it well. I used to see his comments regularly, but not so much lately. Either he has been publishing in places I don’t follow, or is less active.

  4. JWalters on February 14, 2019, 7:18 pm

    “The fierceness of the attacks on Omar is indicative of the panic of Zionists.”

    I agree we’re looking at Zionist panic. And the fierceness of that panic may reflect a lot of behind the scenes stuff that has yet to reach the mainline discussion. A lot of information is out there on the web that warrants review. e.g.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if their extreme panic leads to a tactical blunder that pours the whole sordid mess into the public’s consciousness.

    • Boomer on February 15, 2019, 7:19 am

      Attacking the one who tells the truth is SOP. As for why the ferocity, what else could anyone expect: she wears a headscarf!

    • Misterioso on February 15, 2019, 8:49 am

      @JWalters, et al

      “Americans can criticise America. But not Israel” Redress Information and Analysis, 12 Feb. 2019

      “It is official. Criticism of Israel is anti Semitism and recognising the power of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, invites retribution.

      “Ilhan Omar, a Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, first created a stir by refusing to delete her 2012 tweet, which said: ‘Israel has hypnotised the world.’ Her original tweet was in response to Israel’s eight-day bombing of Gaza, the so-called Operation Pillar of Defence. The Israeli army claimed that it had ‘as usual… made great efforts to reduce the number of civilian casualties and amount of collateral damage.’ The families of the167 Palestinians killed in the bombing were no doubt reassured by these words.

      “Ms Omar recently apologised for her choice of words, but added:
      ‘What is important to me is that people recognise that there’s a difference between criticising a military action by a government that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attacky to particular people of faith…

      “‘I say the same things if not worse when it comes to the Saudi government. I’ve called for boycotts of Hajj, and boycotts of Saudi Arabia, because to me it is important when you see oppression taking place – when you see regression – when you see our values being attacked as humans, you must stand up, and it doesn’t matter who the inhabiters of that particular region might be.’

      “This humanitarian statement was evidently too much for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who threatened punishment for Ms Omar and for Rashida Tlaib, a Muslim representative from Michigan. Mr McCarthy was surely not influenced by the fact that uber Zionist Sheldon Adelson is currently the Republican’s largest donor. And, of course, McCarthy was joined by a chorus of outraged congressmen.

      “Glenn Greenwald tweeted in response:
      ‘GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.’

      “Omar replied to Greenwald, quoting a 1997 rap song by Puff Daddy: ‘It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.’ Apparently, no one at Politico is familiar with Puff Daddy, and hysterically interpreted the music emoji Omar attached as a suggestion ‘that money was calling the tune for McCarthy.’

      “Batya Ungar-Sargon, opinion editor of the formerly left-wing news outlet, The Forward, asked Omar: ‘Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.’

      “Omar replied with what everyone knows. ‘AIPAC.’

      “Presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton chimed in, tweeting: ‘We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.’

      “Omar’s reply was more well reasoned and polite than Clinton’s words merited. ‘We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticising people for their faith. I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you.’

      “First the need to explain that they are on the correct side before taking the wrong side. Joshua Zeitz, liberal historian and contributing editor at Politico, wrote that he is ‘one of those American Jews who opposes the occupation, laments Israel’s anti-democratic drift, and doesn’t regard the country as especially central to my Jewish identity.’ The tweet then condemns Omar, ‘She might as well call us hooked-nosed.’

      “Oh, so noting the money that Israel and its supporters pour into the political system is the same as physical stereotyping? Really?”

  5. Shingo on February 15, 2019, 4:27 am

    Omar’s Tweets were entirely justified. As this article points out, she said nothing that Tom Friedman and countless AIPAC members have not said. Friedman is untouchable so can get away with it.

    I think that Orcasio Cortez found herself in a difficult position and negotiated this volatile situation with excellent political skill. The pro Israel establishement wants to bury the both of them and if AOC is to get her ambitious agenda through Congress, she needs to make friends not enemies.

  6. William3 on February 15, 2019, 10:43 am

    15-year-old was shot by israeli forces in the chest moments ago in Gaza. Child is in critical condition, pray for him.

    What a sick world we’ve created. I am completely distraught–If we turn away from this we will eventually devour each other. Zionism is hatred of humanity.

    • Misterioso on February 15, 2019, 1:12 pm


      Thank you for reporting this murder of a Palestinian child today in Gaza. As the record attests, Jewish Zionists take great pleasure in killing Palestinian children.

      In order for one to become a Zionist, it is necessary to first be a fascist and a racist.

  7. annie on February 15, 2019, 1:36 pm

    about AOC’s “acknowledge pain” tweet. micael tracey called her out on it and told her she was being duped. she responded:

    “Disagree. Progressive Jews in my community have been engaging me in private in an effort to not create infighting. Progressive Muslims in my community are concerned w/ being falsely tagged as anti-Semitic. If we can’t reconcile those things via process then nothing will get done.”

    to which i responded to her, twice actually

    “speaking of actual pain, note we’re not addressing the slaughtered kids in gaza.”

    this is the whole point of these ‘grab the smelling salts and let’s have more nuanced’ discussions surrounding accusations of anti semitism. because primarily those discussions totally drowned out the point, palestine. for every discussion of palestine in the msm, there are probably over 10 (or more) about antisemitism. it all becomes about jewish suffering, when today, friday, palestinians are being gunned down in the friday protests. it’s insane.

    another of my comments to her on this topic:

    “what is it you want to “get done”? coz privacy to avoid “infighting” often exclude palestinians. &if there’s effort being made to bring their voices to forefront i am not hearing it, least of all from you. understand you’ve other fish to fry but palestinians are victims of aipac.”

    and then

    “primarily, this is not a jew on jew fight about antisemitism. let’s just be clear about that.”

  8. gamal on February 15, 2019, 8:16 pm

    “Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is the latest public figure to be smeared with such false accusations of antisemitism by Zionists who are alarmed at the growing support for Palestinians in Congress”

    And thankfully many Jews seem at ease in the virulence of their unremarked racism which presumably will cost them nothing in way at all, for the moment. Halaby at CP gives MW a shout out.

    “Don’t mind him,” Omar told Iftikhar, “he is just waking up to the reality of having Muslim women as colleagues who know how to stand up to bullies!”

    Confirming suspicions that we live in the darkest timeline, Zeldin then issued another tweet, this time directly attacking Omar for her foreign policy views. The freshman congresswoman, a critic of the Israeli government, has drawn the ire of conservatives attempting to paint her views as anti-Semitic. This week was no different after she said Americans should not be afraid to criticize Israeli policies, as Americans often criticize those of Iran ― another state with overt religious values.

    “Those poor innocent ISIS fighters & Palestinian terrorists right? Give me a break! That’s a problem no matter your religion or gender Ilhan,” Zeldin wrote.

    He continued, “Your anti-Semitic & anti-Israel hate is strong & wrong & those terrorists have US blood on their hands as well.”

    Because Palestinian American Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) refused to take the annual brainwashing trip to Israel, and because she suggested that the junket AIPAC-funded indoctrination trip should include visits to the West Bank, she was accused of being a terrorist, an anti-Semite, anti-Israel, and an ISIS sympathizer.

    On January 15, 2019 Huff Post’s Haley Miller reported that Israeli-born Hallandale Beach Commissioner Annabelle Lima-Taub “Proudly signed [a Facebook petition on 2/8/2019] seeking to remove Tlaib from Congress. She called Rep. Tlaib a ‘Hammas-loving anti-Semite.’” According to Taub, who is Jewish, Tlaib associates with “those terrorists [who]have US blood on their hands.” Taub also charged that there is “NO place in government [for Tlaib]. … She is a danger and [I] would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.” Talk about Israeli tropes; Taub delivered over 30 minutes’ worth of diatribes conjuring up vile accusations.”

  9. gamal on February 16, 2019, 8:43 am

    Perhaps we coming to one of those ‘parting of the ways’ moments, it’s going to be interesting and a bit searing no doubt. Jonah Ben Avraham writes, I am still waiting to find out what happened to all the Gandhians and MLKians in the face of the Great March, they seem to have lost their tongues, predictably.

    “Omar Is Being Attacked Because She Poses a Challenge to White Supremacy”

    “What is perhaps more surprising — and disappointing — is the failure of some on the left to recognize this attack on Omar for what it is: a cynical, racist weaponization of antisemitism to discredit a progressive politician.

    After Omar’s apology, the Jewish anti-occupation group If Not Now “[welcomed] Omar’s apology for her unfortunate word choice.” Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrated her “capacity to acknowledge pain & apologize,” and thanking “Jewish leadership who brought her in, [rather than pushing] her out, to heal.”

    Perhaps even more worse, Bernie Sanders hasn’t said a word about the entire controversy, even though his strong defense of Omar could have a big impact.


    Examples abound around progressive media: “Two things can be true,” they suggest. “Omar’s statement can be anti-Semitic, and she can still be a champion of social justice that we should defend. After all, she apologized.”

    There’s only one problem with this line of reasoning: the tweet simply wasn’t anti-Semitic, and the resounding concession that Omar did something wrong — and had something to apologize for — has done substantial harm to the credibility of anti-racist, anti-imperialist politics on the nation’s highest political stage.”

    • annie on February 16, 2019, 9:17 am

      Perhaps even more worse, Bernie Sanders hasn’t said a word about the entire controversy, even though his strong defense of Omar could have a big impact.

      even more worse? heaven forbid! well, Jonah Ben Avraham is wrong about uncle bernie…

      Earlier on Thursday, Jewish Insider reported that Sanders was asked about Omar’s tweets on a conference call hosted by James Zogby, founder of the Arab American Institute and a former member of the Democratic National Committee’s executive committee.

      “I talked to Ilhan last night to give her my personal support,” Sanders was quoted as saying. “We will stand by our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

      Zogby told The Daily Beast the call was off-record when contacted about the veracity of the reporting, but the source familiar with the lawmakers’ conversation confirmed the Jewish Insider story.

      • gamal on February 16, 2019, 9:21 am

        ” Wrong about Uncle Bernie” oh good, obviously I will now drink to that.

      • echinococcus on February 16, 2019, 11:43 am

        Worse? Of course it’s at least as bad! “Moslem brothers and sisters” be damned, this is about Palestinians, Zionist invasion and genocide, and the Zionist control of US policy. All of which Sanders has continued to sign off on, see Gaza 2014, see approval of J-Street subversion –and no retractions, of course.
        The absurd apologies so approved by the Dim tool Ocasio would not have to be offered if Omar, admirable as her stand is, was not also a tool of the main US Imperialist party. When these figures offer “support” in terms that propagandize US Empire and warmongering, it’s not Omar’s position that gets consolidated.

      • annie on February 16, 2019, 6:09 pm

        obviously I will now drink to that.

        i think i’ll join you — don’t ask

  10. William3 on February 16, 2019, 11:34 am

    Not sure if you have seen this but there is a rift growing between Palestinian supporters such as Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah and Code Pink’s Ariel Gold. JDForward’s Bungar Sargon (sp?) who I never heard of before trashed Ilhan for her comment which was then picked up by the despicable Chelse Clinton and now it appears JDF is trying to fund raise on the back of Ilhan. Very disturbing as Ali pointed out but then it seems Ariel decided to defend Bungar (not for this comment but that she supports some Palestinian causes) which many including myself and Ali find really offensive. Not sure if I can continue to support Code Pink if it’s leaders think this type of Islamaphobia and racism is okay as long as you tweet the occasional support for Palestinians.

    • annie on February 18, 2019, 11:13 am

      william, i encountered this on twitter, ali confronting ariel over her tweet to sargon, but i got there after ariel had already deleted the tweet so i don’t know what it said specifically. but she deleted it and i think issued another tweet apologizing or something, i can’t recall. but i don’t think this will result in any kind of lasting riff between cp and ei.

  11. bcg on February 16, 2019, 12:31 pm

    Here’s some relevant news – Stephen Walt (Walt & Mearsheimer: The Israel Lobby) has a piece in Foreign Policy titled “How (and How Not) to Talk About the Israel Lobby”, focusing on Ilhan Omar:

    Though Omar deserved to be educated about the unfortunate manner and content of her critique, she would still have been pilloried even if she had been more sensitive to the history of anti-Semitism and offered a nuanced and well-documented argument. Why? Because being aware of, sensitive to, and deeply opposed to anti-Semitism and offering an informed, factual picture of the lobby’s activities affords little or no protection to anyone who is critical of Israel’s actions, is concerned about the one-sided nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and disagrees with the policy positions that groups like AIPAC endorse….How do I know? Let’s just say I have some experience with this phenomenon.

    While critical of many of Israel’s actions, we also expressed our admiration for its many achievements and wrote the book in the hope that a more balanced debate over these critical issues and policies would ensure a more secure Israel in a more stable Middle East. Our book said repeatedly that the United States should come to Israel’s aid if its survival were ever in jeopardy, and we argued forcefully for a two-state solution.

    Yet despite these points repeated throughout the book, we faced essentially the same firestorm of criticism that Omar’s brief tweets occasioned. We were openly and repeatedly denounced as anti-Semites or “Jew-baiters,” falsely charged with having done our research on neo-Nazi websites, and in many cases accused of saying the exact opposite of what we actually wrote.

  12. jaspeace2day on February 16, 2019, 12:47 pm

    “The Lobby” documentary depicts a very clear account of treason and possibly sedition on the part of the jewish US citizens working covertly with the israeli government to destroy fellow US citizens that support Palestinian rights which is their lawful right to do so. Why the FBI hasn’t gone after them is quite telling and further proves the control the israeli terrorist & apartheid regime has over our government and national security apparatus.

  13. Tom Suarez on February 16, 2019, 7:08 pm

    An important point raised by Ms. Elia already in the headline is the Israeli tactic of diverting the visible topic away from the Palestinians. “We” tend to get involved in the arguments, when in fact the arguments themselves are the purpose of Israel’s propagandists. Here in the UK, where political discourse and the media have been derailed by fake “antisemitism” campaigns against anti-racists (especially since the election of J Corbyn as head of Labour), “we” react by arguing against the falsehoods… but (just) arguing against the falsehoods is the point: as long as we’re distracted refuting false charge of antisemitism, Palestine remains off topic.

  14. CHUCKMAN on February 18, 2019, 4:29 am

    That’s just a beautiful picture of Ilhan Omar at the top of the page.

    This is what the Soviet apparatchik-types of the Israel lobby have chosen to fight.

    Honestly, it’s a picture of the Madonna. Of human kindness and decency. Very powerful.

  15. Ossinev on February 18, 2019, 7:47 am

    @Tom Suarez
    “Here in the UK, where political discourse and the media have been derailed by fake “antisemitism” campaigns against anti-racists (especially since the election of J Corbyn as head of Labour), “we” react by arguing against the falsehoods… but (just) arguing against the falsehoods is the point: as long as we’re distracted refuting false charge of antisemitism, Palestine remains off topic”

    Totally agree. The manufactured A/S charges against Corbyn and Labour with the benefit of hindsight should have been attacked head on with clear charges of Anti – Palestinianism against those in the Labour Party including the likes of the Israeli First MPs Berger,Ellman,Hodges and their collaborators in the Bliarite wing. Instead Corbyn and the Labour Leadership ( persuaded perhaps by the greasy Tom Watson) in good faith but naively it can be argued chose appeasement. They should instead have responded by focusing loudly and clearly on the horrors being inflicted on the Palestinians and making that the topic.

    Latest news is that seven Labour MP`s have left the party (including Berger) and have announced that they have set up a new “party” called “The Independent Group”. Unsurprisingly Berger has referred to “institutionalised Anti – Semitism” as her reason and her fellow “Independent”
    All of these MP`s were elected by the voters in their constituencies as Labour Party representatives but of course none of them will want to do the right thing and put themselves up for re- election standing as independents. They will stay on the gravy train.

    Good riddance and hopefully they will be followed soon by all of the other I/F rats.

  16. Ossinev on February 18, 2019, 10:07 am

    George Galloway has written to the Labour party to ask to be readmitted as a member in light of the resignation of seven MPs this morning.

    In the video, entitled “Galloway on the Dance of the Seven Veils #SevenDwarfs”, he said “there’s a whole raft of rats about to jump ship”. He accused the seven MPs of “rolling out the poisonous lie” that the Labour leadership is anti-semitic, something he described as the “greatest, grossest defamations in all political history”. He said the group had ties to Labour Friends of Israel and were more concerned with criticism of the Israeli government than anti-semitism.

    Galloway said he hoped his membership would be supported by people who “recognise that I have a big voice and a big reach in British society and indeed further afield and that unlike the seven dwarves who ditched the Labour party today, I believe in Labour”.

    I loved the Labour party much more than those who kicked me out of it ever loved it. Indeed, they are the people who almost killed it. Jeremy Corbyn has brought it back to life. So watch this space, there will be others leaving, but – like me – I hope there will be others joining.

  17. Maghlawatan on February 18, 2019, 11:37 am

    In both the U.K. and US neoliberals are fighting progressives who want economic change by accusing them of antisemitism

    This effectively puts Jews on the side of plutocracy and is really fucking dangerous

    7 Neoliberal members of parliament left the U.K.
    Labour Party today citing antisemitism. The UKL
    wants to change the economic system

    ‪John McDonnell MP‬


    ‪Labour will repeal the Trade Union Act and introduce new laws that will enable the roll out of sectoral collective bargaining in the biggest transfer of power to workers in generations. #HeartUnions‬

  18. Ossinev on February 18, 2019, 2:34 pm

    Still just ” seven dwarfs “. I suspect that the other principal pro – Zioland suspects eg Margaret Hodge,Louise Ellman,Joan Ryan etc ad nauseum have been seriously spooked by the negative reaction on social media specifically the multiple accusations that they were happy to stand for election and be elected as MP`s on a Corbyn led Labour Party Platform/Manifesto and if they as they claim were acting “on their principles” they should stand down and seek re-election as “Independents” putting these “principles” to those who voted for them.. It will be fascinating to see how these fellow travellers who quite clearly have identified with the seven in the past respond and react when asked why they are not following their lead. They have been effectively put in a serious pickle by their (ex? ) good buddies.

    • annie on February 18, 2019, 3:53 pm

      Ossinev, i’ve been following @skwawkbox. they Rt’d this:

  19. Mayhem on February 18, 2019, 6:05 pm

    Quoting a tweet from Maajid Nawaz:
    “1) You promised during elections *not* to support a boycott of Israel. After you won, you supported a boycott
    2) You said Israel has “hypnotised the world” & later apologised
    3) Now you’ve casually done it again with the tweet about Benjamins baby.
    I dunno, maybe you’re just a raving anti-Semite”

    • oldgeezer on February 18, 2019, 8:27 pm


      So you’re quoting a founding member of Quilliam. A racist organization whose primary purpose seems to be spreading their vile hatred throughout the western world.

      Loved by zionists as they share the same despicable belief systems.

    • Mooser on February 18, 2019, 8:32 pm

      ” Now you’ve casually done it again with the tweet about Benjamins baby.”

      “Benjamin’s Baby”? Is that a sequel to the 1980 film starring Goldie Hawn, “Private Benjamin”?

    • eljay on February 18, 2019, 8:46 pm

      || Mayhem: Quoting a tweet from Maajid Nawaz:
      “1) You promised during elections *not* to support a boycott of Israel. After you won, you supported a boycott
      2) You said Israel has “hypnotised the world” & later apologised
      3) Now you’ve casually done it again with the tweet about Benjamins baby.
      I dunno, maybe you’re just a raving anti-Semite” ||

      According to this tweet:
      – Nawaz is aware that Omar was speaking about Israel.
      – Nawaz nevertheless anti-Semitically conflates Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel so that he can accuse Omar of anti-Semitism.

      Yup, it’s clear who the “raving anti-Semite” is. Good work, Mayhem.

    • RoHa on February 19, 2019, 12:39 am

      But it does raise an interesting question, which is “Why is she a raving anti-Semite?”

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