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Democratic Party leadership, in bed with AIPAC, condemns Ilhan Omar for ‘anti-Semitic… accusations’

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It did not take long for the other shoe to drop. The six official leaders of the Democratic House have condemned Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota for “anti-Semitism” and “hatred” because she tweeted last night that the Israel lobby group AIPAC has influence over the Congress “because of the Benjamins” — the money AIPAC helps funnel to Congress to support Israel.

The leaders issued a statement:

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.

Nancy Pelosi said that Ilhan Omar agrees with the statement:

In our conversation today, Congresswoman Omar and I agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.

Omar said this afternoon that she has “unequivocally apologized.” She said she is learning about “the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”

The Democratic leaders are surely terrified that the Democratic Party is going to split over Israel and that it will endanger the party’s consensus and also alienate many of its biggest donors.

Almost all the six leaders who signed the statement (below) have spoken at American Israel Public Affairs Committee — AIPAC– events or been adoring of the Israeli government.

Here is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking at AIPAC’s annual conference. She has called Israel’s creation “the most spectacular political achievement of the 20th century.”

Here is Majority Leader Steny Hoyer appearing at AIPAC.

Here is Hakeem Jeffries speaking at an AIPAC-sponsored event in 2015. He attended Netanyahu’s speech to Congress that the Congressional Black Caucus boycotted as an insult to Obama. The year before he declared at a pro-Israel event at the height of Israel’s massacre of Gaza in 2014: “Israel today, Israel tomorrow, Israel forever.”

Majority Whip James Clyburn has taken four trips to Israel. At least one of his staff has taken an AIPAC-sponsored trip– from the AIPAC wing the American Israel Educational Foundation.

Here is Katherine Clark meeting with Netanyahu and the rightwing settler-supporting ambassador, David Friedman, along with Nancy Pelosi and Hakeem Jeffries and other Democrats last year, even as Israel was shooting nonviolent demonstrators at the Gaza border. Pelosi said they had an “excellent meeting.”

Dems meeting Netanyahu on March 26, 2018 are left to right, Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), Ambassador David Friedman, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Netanyahu, Donald McEachin (D-Va.), Pelosi, Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)

Here’s this afternoon’s statement:

H/t Abushalom, Allison Deger, James North and Dave Reed. 

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63 Responses

  1. Philip Munger
    Philip Munger
    February 11, 2019, 3:54 pm

    I’m tempted to change my party affiliation from Democrat to non-partisan over this single issue. I won’t.

    Instead, I’ll address the weekly and monthly Party groups I attend and explain to people who are ignorant about how AIPAC operates how this works. I believe that Rep. Omar has been intentionally humiliated over this issue.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      February 11, 2019, 5:48 pm

      Intentional humiliation, you bet. What has changed since Helen Thomas or Roger Garaudy/Abbé Pierre? We keep saying that the accusation of anti-S is losing its sting with repetition but there is very little evidence of that. Best of luck with the Party meetings, Philip. But you won’t find it easy with an ‘unequivocal apology’ ready to be waved in your face. Someone setting out to do the same in the Labour Party would be silenced rapidly, I think, with the threat of expulsion. If we have a General Election the accusation against Corbyn will be repeated six times a day.
      That said, it is surely true that politics depends a great deal on lobbying and that pro-Israel lobbying spends a lot of money. I regret the results of that and don’t see why I or Ms. Omar should regret, even condemn it any the less because many of those involved are Jewish. It is deeply racist to demand that we should. However, politicians usually take money to do what they would do anyway and the moral element – the mistaken moral element – of thinking that Israel represents the final act in the defeat of Hitler and the final purification of the Christian faith is very strong.
      Just to get off my chest that I watched an Independent TV news report the other night about Israeli bombardment of Hizb positions in Lebanon which in its uncriticality and militaristic tone – even loving dwelling on the hot, phallic guns – took me right back to the 70s when I heard a report – BBC that time – of something Israel did as ‘a good deed in a naughty world’. Of what other foreign country are such admiring things said? What has changed?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 12, 2019, 9:06 pm

        “We keep saying that the accusation of anti-S is losing its sting with repetition but there is very little evidence of that.”

        There is an ever-increasing list of things we are forbidden to say or think, on penalty of being denounced and persecuted as a hater, a denier, a xenophobe, a socialist, or something similar.

        But anti-Semitism, as defined by the accuser, is still on top of the list. Any attempt to defend against the charge is likewise deemed further anti-Semitism.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      February 12, 2019, 10:34 am

      @Philip Munger, et al

      https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/02/11/omar-unequivocally-apologizes-critics-rip-democratic-leaders-trying-silence

      “As Omar ‘Unequivocally’ Apologizes, Critics Rip Democratic Leaders for Trying to ‘Silence Criticism’ of AIPAC”

      “‘What the congresswoman said is very uncontroversial,’ noted journalist Glenn Greenwald. ‘Everyone knows AIPAC is an extremely intimidating lobby, just like the NRA is. There’s nothing wrong with pointing that out.'”

      Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams, Feb. 11/19

      “Progressive critics on Monday condemned a statement by Democratic congressional leaders including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi—who demanded an apology from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) regarding statements she made about the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

      “Among those critics was healthcare activist Ady Barkan, who said he was ‘deeply disappointed’ in the Speaker’s ‘failure’ on the matter.

      “‘When AIPAC and its army try to silence criticism of the immoral, illegal, inhumane occupation by screaming about anti-Semitism and claiming that nobody may ever talk about how the Israel lobby, uses money to build power,’ Barkan declared, ‘don’t fall for their bullshit.’

      “And while Omar on Monday afternoon did ‘unequivocally’ apologize for a pair of tweets Sunday night that some registered as containing ‘anti-Semitic tropes,’ she reaffirmed her belief that powerful lobbying interests—including AIPAC, the fossil fuel industry, and the NRA—remain ‘problematic’ in U.S. politics.

      “‘Listening and learning,’ Omar declared in a tweet, ‘but standing strong.'”

      “Even while many Jewish Americans and other progressives defended Omar from an onslaught of attacks over her tweets—because, as one noted, ‘accurately describing how the Israel lobby works is not anti-Semitism’—the freshman congresswoman said in her Monday statement that ‘We always have to be willing to step back and think through criticism.’

      “She added, ‘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.’

      “Omar’s apology for her comments came shortly after she was rebuked by members of her own Democratic Party, led by Pelosi.

      “‘We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel in Congress because we understand that our support is based on shared values [**] and strategic interests,’ the House Democratic leadership said in a rare joint statement. ‘Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share.’ Such a statement, of course, immediately drew outrage from human rights advocates and progressives.

      “Earlier in the day, journalist Glenn Greenwald appeared on Democracy Now! where he condemned those attacking Omar and also challenged the notion that being critical of AIPAC has anything to do with being anti-Semitic.

      “‘This is all so ridiculous,’ argued Greenwald. ‘It’s all based upon this demand that we indulge what everybody knows is an utter and complete fiction, which is that we’re allowed to talk about the power of the NRA in Washington, we’re allowed to talk about the power of the Saudis in Washington, we’re allowed to talk about the power of big pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street and Silicon Valley and the fossil fuel industry in Washington, but we’re not allowed to talk about an equally potent, well-organized and well-financed lobby that ensures a bipartisan consensus in support of U.S. defense of Israel, that the minute that you mention that lobby, you get attacked as being anti-Semitic, which is what happened to Congresswoman Omar.'”
      _____________________________________________________________

      [**] Re: ‘shared values’ – Speak for yourself and your ilk Speaker Polosi!! While you apparently believe that its thoroughly documented barbaric, illegal, brutal occupation, oppression, dispossession, expulsion, imprisonment, torture, and mass killing of indigenous Christian and Muslim Arabs, including children, is a ‘value’ YOU and your ilk share with “Israel,” it is not a ‘value’ that has been adopted by the vast majority of Americans. This is becoming increasingly obvious as more and more Americans, especially youth, including Jews, seek out and discover the ugly truth regarding the relationship between the fascistic Zionist entity and America’s “leaders.”

      • gamal
        gamal
        February 12, 2019, 11:14 am

        “‘What the congresswoman said is very uncontroversial,’ ”

        It is remarkable that a bald statement of fact leads to spurious accusations of racism, but this is America, maybe she should be invited to a screening of Black Hawk Down, to get a handle on this gross racism thing.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      February 12, 2019, 11:04 am

      Some friendly advice from Professor Lawrence Davidson:

      “A Comment on House Representative Ilhan Omar and Alleged ‘Anti-Semitic Tropes'” (11 Feb 2019)–By Professor Lawrence Davidson

      “Ilhan Omar, a Muslim women from Minnesota and one of the new Democratic Representatives in the House, is now being accused of having used ‘anti-Semtic tropes’ and ‘prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters.’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others said they found her words ‘deeply offensive.’ What had Omar said? Well, basically, it went like this: ‘Republican support for Israel is fueled by campaign donations from pro-Israel groups like AIPAC.’ Wow! What a bad thing to say!

      “There are several things that make Omar’s statement superficial, but none of them detract from its core truth. Basically, the problem with Omar’s assertion is that it was made without supporting context and is incomplete. These are important points and the consequences of omitting them are real.

      Here is what I mean:”

      “It is certainly not just the Republicans whose support of Israel is ‘fueled by campaign donations.’ It is also the Democrats, and Omar might have expected that her claim would call the motives of her fellow Democrats’ support for Israel into question as well. No doubt Pelosi caught the connection and that may be one of the reasons she quickly demanded ‘an immediate apology’ from Omar. There are two other points to be made here: One is that the connection between Zionist organizations and the federal, as well as state, politicians of this nation are at least a century old. That means the deal whereby this particular group gives money and the other party delivers legislation and foreign/military aid is so established that it is generally taken for granted. When Omar questions the propriety of this arrangement it is a shock—even for the politicians. The second point is that it is probably true that some politicians, say Senator Chuck Schumer and Vice President Mike Pence, support Israel for personal or religious reasons and would do so whether they are monetarily rewarded or not. However, such politicians are probably in the minority.

      “Moving on, we can note that Omar states that the campaign contributions come from ‘pro-Israeli groups like AIPAC.’ She probably should have left out the example of a mostly Jewish group (AIPAC) because by throwing it in she opened herself to the charge of anti-Semitism—specifically, as her disparagers allege, she (apparently without knowing she was doing so) ‘invoked the anti-Semitic trope of Jewish money.’ Of course, the truth of the matter is that it is not only ‘Jewish money’ that is involved here (though Sheldon Adelson did give Republicans tens of millions of dollars in 2018). It is also ‘Christian money’ in the form of donations from Christian Zionist individuals and organizations. And, finally on this point, the fact is that AIPAC as an organization does not make financial contributions, but is quite active in suggesting to other donating groups which politicians are worthy of receiving such largess.

      “There is little doubt that the Democrats in the House are going to try to make an example of Omar and scare the rest of the new House Democrats, and any others who might come along in the future. Ilhan Omar herself took the message and did apologize very quickly.

      “There is a lesson for us to learn from all of this. We are at a new stage of what has always been, and continues to be, a very nasty fight. All statements by pro-Palestinian politicians (which now are indeed showing up on the radar) about Israel, Zionists, their relation to U.S. politicians and U.S. foreign policy, should be carefully crafted so as to assure that they can be defended from distortion, slander and innuendo. Perhaps the various pro-Palestinian organizations in and about Washington can create a consultative committee to help with just such a task.”


      Lawrence Davidson
      [email protected]

      Blog: http://www.tothepointanalyses.com

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic
        February 12, 2019, 12:26 pm

        When I see or hear the phrase antisemitic trope, I always assuming that I am reading or hearing a moron, an ignoramus, or a liar.

      • YoniFalic
        YoniFalic
        February 12, 2019, 12:48 pm

        When I see or hear the phrase antisemitic trope, I always assume that I am reading or hearing a moron, an ignoramus, or a liar.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        February 12, 2019, 2:47 pm

        Wilkerson only confirms what should have been obvious to all, i.e. that the fact of being elected as a member of the Democrat Party, ie the main administrator of American monopoly capital and imperialist aggression does not allow her to speak or act freely. In fact, having been made to apologize already to the owners of the country may have destroyed her career — let’s hope not, but not too optimistic.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        February 12, 2019, 3:04 pm

        @ YoniFalic.

        Exactly. And when you ask how Jews as such were defamed, there’s no rational answer. NEVER!

    • genesto
      genesto
      February 12, 2019, 12:59 pm

      Rep. Omar has been Cynthia McKinneyed! How’s that for a term describing the vicious attacks on brave souls in Congress, like Omar, for speaking truth to Israel lobby power?

  2. amigo
    amigo
    February 11, 2019, 4:09 pm

    Haaretz is reporting that she already apologized but she managed to get it in the open.

    Sorry –firewall on this.

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/ilhan-omar-apologizes-for-anti-semitic-tweet-following-backlash-1.

  3. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    February 11, 2019, 4:37 pm

    This tropes and memes business is just another way to suppress legitimate speech. It does this by shifting the point away from something’s being true or false to the irrelevant issue of whether someone who was truly an anti-Semite once said it.

    I say “A is B.”
    Someone says, “You’re an anti-Semite.”
    “How does my saying A is B make me an anti-Semite? A is in fact B.”
    “Doesn’t matter. Some anti-Semites used to say A is B and it was not true. It’s an anti-Semitic trope.”
    “Oh, then should I lie and say pro-Israel supporters in the US do not give money to politicians to get them to support Israel?”
    “No, you should just shut up about it.”

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      February 11, 2019, 10:11 pm

      “It does this by shifting the point away from something’s being true or false to the irrelevant issue of whether someone who was truly an anti-Semite once said it.”

      A similar shift is to claim that the statement implies an a-S trope and thus may not be spoken, regardless of whether or not it is true.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      February 12, 2019, 12:14 pm

      A very good post. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word ‘trope’ used about anyone other than Jews, and then almost always in the context of trying to silence criticism of Israel. Are blacks, or Buddhists, or Chinese or anyone else never the subject of ‘tropes’?

      And as you say, the ‘trope’ nonsense is basicially saying “OK I admit that nothing you said was actually antisemitic, even by a very broad interpretation. But that doesn’t matter because you were thinking antisemitic thoughts.”

      It’s nonsense.

  4. scott9854958
    scott9854958
    February 11, 2019, 5:21 pm

    That a lone pro-Arab dissident has issued a hostage video apology for suggesting that Israeli money runs Congress should certainly prove that Israeli money doesn’t run Congress.

  5. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    February 11, 2019, 5:39 pm

    @Amigo
    New York Times has this on their front page and has even allowed comments !!
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/us/politics/ilhan-omar-anti-semitism.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    Some of the comments indicate that Americans including Jewish Americans are becoming sick and tired of this Anti-Semitism and Anti – Semitism “trope” b.llocks. They are also sick and tired of being sold the bare faced lies about AIPAC/Jewish mega donors etc. Sad but not surpising that Pelosi et al are still towing the AIPAC party line but the times they are certainly a changing. The simple fact that there is now a main line MSM discussion about the Japanese Knotweed Zionist Lobby and its control of American policy is a huge step forward.

    BTW Have Zionist Jews taken out some sort of patent on the word” trope” just as they have appropriated the term Anti – Semite ? Are there Catholic” tropes” , Baptist ” tropes” , Hindu “tropes”,Pagan “tropes”.

    • amigo
      amigo
      February 11, 2019, 5:58 pm

      Ossinev , I see Antisemitism in the Labour party is back on the front pages again.

      BBC is reporting that (circa my addition) 650 new cases of A/S in the labour party have been reported by the party.Some 65 people have been expelled and some 200 others are to be investigated.

      Margaret Hodge is right in the middle of this latest witch hunt.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        February 11, 2019, 9:32 pm

        amigo, Hodge claims to have *made* 200 of the near 650 accusations in the ten months to January!

        There is no proof that the individuals reported are even members of the party when most is gleaned from social media where anyone can say anything.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        February 12, 2019, 11:58 am

        Yup. She claimed that she personally made 200 complaints and is now whining that the number of alleged anti semitic incidents was too few!

        Which proves once again… some people are never happy. Hodges et al were demanding that this number be released, and now when it is released they’re complaining that it’s not good enough. Because it’s never enough. And this from Hodges, who in her 40 years as a politician never seemed to much care about anti semitism until Corbyn became leader. Indeed, while she disagreed with him vocally for years, she never accused him of being an anti semite until last year.

        And isn’t it interesting that Luciana Berger – who we couldn’t criticise last week because she was 8 months pregnant – is on the case too. So her pregnancy makes her immune from criticism but doesn’t stop her criticising others? Hmmm…..

        Corbyn made a huge mistake in not knocking this on the head years ago. I’ll be generous and call it naivite but it was certainly a major error.

      • genesto
        genesto
        February 12, 2019, 1:04 pm

        For all those leaving, or threatening to leave, the UK because of Corbyn and the Labor Party’s so-called anti-Semitism, all I can say is ‘B’Byyyye!! :-)’.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        February 12, 2019, 8:21 pm

        amigo, ossinev, update on La Hodges 200 complaints.

        ° They related to 111 diferent individuals

        ° 90% of them were found NOT to be Labour members

        ° Just 20 complaints were related to Labour members

        ° There is no indication how many Labour members were involved (ie could be two or more complaints against one individual),

        ° There is no indication of the disposition of those cases (ie, whether dismissed as unfounded, warned, asked to undergo training, or expelled from the party).

    • amigo
      amigo
      February 12, 2019, 7:17 am

      “There is no proof that the individuals reported are even members of the party when most is gleaned from social media where anyone can say anything.”Bumblebye

      I saw this on BBC and only caught the back end of the article.

      Thanks for adding your points.

      Clearly the LFI folks don,t care where or what they post as long as it serves their purpose , which is to prevent JC from ever having the opportunity to declare Palestine as a State.

      This possibility is throwing them into a tizzy and there is no limit to what they will do to prevent it–up to and including taking him out.

  6. amigo
    amigo
    February 11, 2019, 5:46 pm

    For the triumphalist zio smug Alecs who think they have prevailed—think again.

    ” “It is not those who can inflict the most, but those that can suffer the most who will conquer.”Terence Mac Swiney.

    “Terence James MacSwiney (/məkˈswiːni/; Irish: Toirdhealbhach Mac Suibhne; 28 March 1879 – 25 October 1920[1]) was an Irish playwright, author and politician. He was elected as Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork during the Irish War of Independence in 1920.[2] He was arrested by the British on charges of sedition and imprisoned in Brixton Prison in England. His death there in October 1920 after 74 days on hunger strike brought him and the Irish struggle to international attention. ”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_MacSwiney

  7. Keith
    Keith
    February 11, 2019, 6:14 pm

    ILHAN OMAR- “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.”

    An “uppity” tweet followed by a grovelling tweet? To what purpose? I might add that I don’t “tweet”, and I find all of these political tweets dragging the discourse even farther into the mud than it already is. Yet another example of the internet as an instrument of social control.

  8. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    February 11, 2019, 6:38 pm

    @amigo
    “Ossinev , I see Antisemitism in the Labour party is back on the front pages again”

    Yes have just read the latest. Some questions over whether the actual details of the alleged as in alleged cases of Anti Semitism (yawn) will be made available to Labour Party members and the general public and whether the figure is a bottom trawling catch all under the ludicrous IHRA definitions. Oops there`s another one to add to the Anti – Judaism statistics.

    All of this of course has nothing to do with the fact that the Leader of HM Opposition and potential next PM is avowedly pro – Palestinian and the Israeli Firsters in the UK including the said Margaret” tax haven” Hodge have been requested by ZC to prop up the A/S corpse yet again. Oops yet another one for the A/J statistics

    What is that they say in Dublin – do they think we came up the Liffey in a bubble ?

  9. Kay24
    Kay24
    February 11, 2019, 11:09 pm

    I cringe every time I see Democrats standing with Crooked Bibi, fawning over him. He controls America, and despite knowing it, they keep showering him, and Israel, with unwavering love and support. They know Bibi is under investigated and on the verge of being indicted, yet they will prostrate themselves in front of the war criminal. The road to the White House, and Congress, goes through Israel first, before it reaches the American people. Anywhere in the world, that much is understood. It is unfortunate America has come down to this.

  10. bcg
    bcg
    February 11, 2019, 11:31 pm

    News flash: tonight, Monday, on the PBS Newshour, there was a segment in Politics Monday where BDS, the whole anti-semitism controversy, and the rift in the Jewish community are mentioned prominently. Check it out.

  11. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    February 12, 2019, 9:54 am

    I totally fail to see where disagreeing with israel’s government is an act of anti Semitism. What I am is ANTI ZIONIST – for what they are doing to all Palestinians. But of course, little does it matter with what we smear, the main thing is we smear.

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw
      February 12, 2019, 10:42 am

      Disagreeing is one thing, dealing in anti-Semitic tropes, three if your counting, is quite another thing.

      The darling of the BDS has one and only one thing on her mind.

      Jews.

      • bcg
        bcg
        February 12, 2019, 10:57 am

        @Jackdaw: I’ve been to JVP meetings that were packed with Jews – of all ages – who support BDS, and in all the conversations I’ve had with people I can’t discern the slightest hint of ‘anti-semitism’ or self-hating Jewishness – it’s all ridiculous.

        Try going to some of these meetings and try actually talking to people.

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 12, 2019, 11:00 am

        || Jackdaw: Disagreeing is one thing, dealing in anti-Semitic tropes … ||

        Yet another Zionist chimes in with yet another anti-Semitic conflation of Zionism and Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Zionism and Israel.

        Why do Zionists insist on hating Jews so much?!

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        February 12, 2019, 12:25 pm

        @jockstrap

        What a pathetic mealy mouthed unfounded accusation. And from the same person who claimed he couldn’t be rscist because one of his true friends…. hahaha yer a riot Alice.

        She’s twice the man you’ll ever be.

        And yes I would say it to your face just so you know before you spray your artificial testosterone all over the pages.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        February 12, 2019, 2:11 pm

        @bcg

        Is there a JVP branch here in Israel?

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        February 12, 2019, 2:22 pm

        @oldjuicer

        “She’s twice the man you’ll ever be.”

        No, she’s a coward who backed down and apologized in a matter of hours.

        And BTW, here is a ‘fun fact’ Rep. Omar should consider.

        In 2018, pro Israel lobby groups (including AIPAC) spent about $5 million on direct lobbying efforts beyond campaign contributions; pro-Saudi groups, for a rough contrast, spent $19 million from the beginning of 2017 until October 2018.

        Maybe tomorrow Rep. Omar will have something to say about Saudi ‘Benjamins’ buying off Congress.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        February 12, 2019, 2:54 pm

        Jackdaw: “Maybe tomorrow Rep. Omar will have something to say about Saudi ‘Benjamins’ buying off Congress.”

        Ho dare you! That would be anti-Semitic. You know, Saudi Arabians, money, power. The old tropes.

        It seems that you only have one thing on your mind.

        Nonjews.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        February 12, 2019, 3:04 pm

        “n 2018, pro Israel lobby groups (including AIPAC) spent about $5 million on direct lobbying efforts beyond campaign contributions;”

        As was mentioned elsewhere, this figure is misleading because, as you say, it only counts ‘direct lobbying efforts’ and does not include the huge sums changing hands behind the scenes.

        “Maybe tomorrow Rep. Omar will have something to say about Saudi ‘Benjamins’ buying off Congress.”

        And if she did, no doubt there’d be a nationwide fit of pearl clutching and demands for an apology, since it’s a well-known ‘trope’ thatoil-rich Arabs are shifty and think money can buy anything.

        Wouldn’t there?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        February 12, 2019, 3:28 pm

        “Jackdaw”, don’t you understand, we are perfectly safe from “anti-Semitic tropes”.

        Why, who would dare say anything bad about Jews, when we say such nice things about everybody else. And often quite gratuitously, too!
        We will shame them for lowering the discourse.

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        February 12, 2019, 5:04 pm

        “And if she did, no doubt there’d be a nationwide fit ”

        Well.
        She didn’t, and she won’t, and she won’t take on the N.R.A., big pharmaceuticals, defense contractors and many other mega lobbyists.

        She saves her ire for the Jews.

        BTW, I’m recommending a movie I saw the other day, Spike Lee’s, ‘Black KKKlansman’.

      • Donald
        Donald
        February 12, 2019, 9:35 pm

        Actually, Jackdaw, she has been a very harsh critic of the Saudis.

        https://www.minnpost.com/national/2018/12/whos-afraid-of-ilhan-omar-saudi-arabia-for-one/

      • Jackdaw
        Jackdaw
        February 13, 2019, 12:41 am

        @Donald

        Good for her criticism of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

        But the point, before you deflected, was money and lobbying Congress, not human rights.

      • eljay
        eljay
        February 13, 2019, 5:56 pm

        || Jackdaw: … she won’t take on the N.R.A., big pharmaceuticals, defense contractors and many other mega lobbyists.

        She saves her ire for the Jews. … ||

        So much Jew hatred in such a small comment! First you (yet again) anti-Semitically conflate all Jews (or, as you Zionists like to call them, “the Jews”) with the (pro-)Israel lobby, and then you argue that anyone who targets a lobby group like the NRA or big pharma should also target “the Jews” (i.e., all Jews) instead of the (pro-)Israel lobby.

        Seriously, man, why do you Zionists hate Jews so much?!

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        February 13, 2019, 9:35 pm

        @jockstrap

        “No, she’s a coward who backed down and apologized in a matter of hours.”

        You’re half right as to what transpired,which is pretty impressive for you, but she didn’t back down at all.

        And she certainly isn’t a coward. She called out the neocon war criminal Abrams for what he is as an added bonus today.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      February 13, 2019, 11:12 am

      It isn’t Vera.
      No need to even entertain it.
      AIPAC is all about securing “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” by Congress and our citizens, of anything related to Israel, Zionism or any other project initiated by members of AIPAC and their sycophants.
      And don’t fall for the line that they do good work in some areas. All supposed good work is connected to their bad work.

  12. Richard Baldwin Cook
    Richard Baldwin Cook
    February 12, 2019, 10:05 am

    Not a good look for the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives to pressure a freshman Democrat to apologize for a truthful statement.

    Not a good look for the leadership team of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives to join as one voice in criticizing a freshman Democrat – instead of first bringing this issue to all of the members.

    The lifeblood of Zionism in the US political arena is to banish any thought of discussion or debate.

    Pelosi and the rest of the leadership went along with this Zionist strategy. The leadership knows Zionusts will never be satusfied. No apology will ever be enough. An effort will be made to remove all Israeli critics from the elected ranks of the Congress.

    Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hyer and the rest of the leadership have sacrificed their integrity as real leadership. They will sacrifice even members of their own party to keep a semblance of power in their own hands. Shameful.

  13. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    February 12, 2019, 1:55 pm

    On the plus side all of this debate about “tropes” and the increasingly boring megaphoned accusations of Anti – Judaism is definitely releasing the stench from the Zionist/AIPAC sewers. The younger generation of Americans including young Jews can definitely smell it and are addressing it. The older Americans including the bought and bent Pelosis are totally immersed in the cause of the stench and will continue to do their damnedest on behalf of their employers to ignore or spin it but remember they are yesterday`s people.

    Tick tick

  14. dionissis_mitropoulos
    dionissis_mitropoulos
    February 12, 2019, 4:34 pm

    The New York Times (NYT) posted 2 of the 3 comments i made to the following article:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/opinion/ilhan-omar-antisemitism.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FIsrael&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection

    The comment that was suppressed was the first i made, so there is no chance that it came in late and the NYT didn’t have time to consider it. In the comment i merely draw attention to the fact that Mr Tom Friedman had said in the past in the pages of the NYT something along the lines of what Ms Ilhan Omar said, and my guess is that the NYT wanted to be spared allegations from the more hawkish part of pro-Israel activists that it (the NYT) is giving ammo to (alleged) Antisemites by publishing views such as the one that Mr Friedman had expressed in 2011. Or maybe it didn’t want to make Ms Michelle Goldberg sound hypocritical when she was condemning Ms Omar’s statement as Antisemitic. Anyway, here is my NYT comment that never saw the light of day:

    “If i say “the Israel lobby is buying and paying for some of US’s decisions concerning the Middle East (ME)”, how different is what i am saying from what New York Times columnist Tom Friedman said in 2011? (this is what he said:”[the] standing ovation [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby”).

    Given that Mr Friedman is a supporter of Israel and not someone who is willing to engage in Antisemitic (a/s) speech acts, isn’t it rational to both believe that there is pro-Israel influence on US policy with regard to the ME and to also use the same expressions that Mr Friedman used? Ms Goldberg suggests that her problem is with the phrasing of Ms Omar’s tweet (a phrasing that was no more provocative than Mr Friedman’s phrasing). But then why doesn’t Ms Goldberg suggest a way that critics of this particular aspect of the relation between Israel and the US can use to make their case in a non-a/s way?

    Surely, critics of the (not just monetary) influence that pro-Israel activism has on US policy in the ME should be able to voice their concerns about the damage done to Palestinians due to US ME policy , and they should also be able to offer causal explanations for this policy, because causes hint to policy solutions. They can’t do so if their speech is deemed a/s no matter how they phrase it.

    Or is it that Jewish sensitivities take precedence over Palestinian interests?”

    My other two comments were along the same lines, except they made no mention of Mr Tom Friedman’s past dictum, so they were allowed — or so i guess. Here they are:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/opinion/ilhan-omar-antisemitism.html?comments#permid=30582253

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/opinion/ilhan-omar-antisemitism.html?comments#permid=30584193

    • dionissis_mitropoulos
      dionissis_mitropoulos
      February 12, 2019, 7:20 pm

      Long after the comments had closed (i mean more than 6 hours) my initial comment (posted much earlier than the time the comments closed) was finally published. So i guess i shouldn’t have rushed to blame the NYT for suppression of the comment, but my excuse is that it was my very first comment of the 3, and the NYT always posts the comments in temporal order of reception. Maybe some moderator was waiting for an “okay” from higher up the moderation team in order to post my comment that (s)he deemed controversial? Anyway, here it is:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/opinion/ilhan-omar-antisemitism.html?comments#permid=30581256

    • dionissis_mitropoulos
      dionissis_mitropoulos
      March 7, 2019, 12:55 pm

      Rep Ilhan Omar said nothing wrong in her third alleged invocation of an Antisemitic (a/s) trope. Here is the statement that caused the pro-Israel activists’ ire (the one in bold letters):

      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-ilhan-omar-anti-semitism-statement_n_5c80385be4b0e62f69e98739?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

      ““It’s almost as if every single time we say something, regardless of what it is we say, that it’s supposed to about foreign policy or engagement, that our advocacy about ending oppression, or the freeing of every human life and wanting dignity, we get to be labeled, and that’s the end of the discussion,” Omar said, adding that advocates end up defending themselves, and “nobody gets to have the broader debate of ‘what is happening with Palestine.’”
      “So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” she continued. “And I want to ask, why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby … that is influencing policy.”

      Now, there are two ways to interpret her statement, a tendentious one and a charitable one. Pro-Israel activists of course immediately chose the tendentious interpretation. But let’s first see which are the 2 most plausible interpretations: the first, the tendentious, reads as:

      1 I want to talk about the political influence in US that says that it’s ok for pro-Israel activists to push me via the use of Antisemitism allegations for allegiance to Israel, and I want to talk about this because these pro-Israel activists are doing the pushing motivated by dual loyalty, namely by a disposition to prioritize the interests of Israel over equally important interests of the US.

      The charitable reads as:

      2 I want to talk about the political influence in US that says that it’s ok for pro-Israel activists to push me (via the use of Antisemitism allegations) for allegiance to Israel, and I want to talk about this because these pro-Israel activists are pushing and they don’t have the right to push me, or anyone else, to be pro-Israel, because support for Israel is just not the kind of issue that would justify such forceful pushing – given that Israel is just a foreign country.

      The correct interpretation is, obviously, along the lines of 2, given all her statements taken together, but we do have a better proof as to what Rep Ilhan Omar meant: she clarified later on when challenged that she was not making any allegation of dual loyalties regarding her Jewish compatriots who are pro-Israel activists and are pushing her for allegiance to Israel. Here is what she said in a series of tweets later on, first clarifying that she protested the fact that what was asked of her by pro-Israel activists was simply not the kind of thing that she owed to them:

      https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1102296763292139520

      “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest.”

      And later clarified that she found especially objectionable the way she was pushed to show allegiance to Israel, namely the allegation that she is not a true American if she doesn’t show allegiance to Israel:

      https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1102297974154113026

      “I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel.”

      Now, this is indeed the attitude that prevails among pro-Israel activists who do the pushing, so one wonders why pro-Israel activist Bret Stephens, a columnist in the New York Times, is denying that what is being demanded from Rep Omar by pro-Israel activists (via pushing) is that she show allegiance to Israel:

      https://twitter.com/BretStephensNYT/status/1102304158684712960

      “Someone please write “Antisemitism for Dummies.” Nobody expects @IlhanMN to pledge “allegiance” to Israel. But her attacks on pro-Israel Americans of doing so is a charge of dual loyalty. That is classic anti-Semitism.”

      Except that Mr Stephens is ignoring the fact that what Rep Omar and other politicians are being pushed for by pro-Israel activists is indeed allegiance to Israel, via, among other things, the allegation that anyone who is not pro-Israel is anti-American. Here is the most prestigious pro-Israel activist, prof Alan Dershowitz:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Dershowitz

      He [Alan Dershowitz] is also a prominent commentator on the Arab–Israeli conflict and has written a number of books on the subject.”

      And here is what prof. Dershowitz has said concerning allegiance to Israel:

      http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/jewish-democrats-disillusioned-with-obama/

      Dershowitz indisputably represents one of Israel’s staunchest ?and most articulate public supporters. Yet, he is a fully committed Democrat and until recently, ?supported the president, insisting that he was a committed supporter of Israel.?
      In recent months Dershowitz appears to have become increasingly exasperated with Obama’s ?Israel policies. It would have been difficult a year or so ago to visualize him sharing a platform ?with Pastor Hagee or even the right-wing Republican Senator Cruz. Yet, in his remarks, ?Dershowitz referred to Cruz as his former student at Harvard Law School and a friend. He ?stated: “Israel must always remain a bipartisan issue. ? And we must explicitly express ?appreciation and admiration for those who stand up for the state of the Jewish people, even if ?we disagree with their other political, theological or social views.”?
      Dershowitz then stressed that “to be anti-Israeli is to be anti-American

      To be anti-Israel is to be anti-American, that’s the standard of allegiance to Israel that one of the most prominent Israel advocates imposes on politicians. No wonder Rep Omar revolted and said that she is “told everyday that … [she is] anti-American if …[she is] not pro-Israel”. One of the policies of pro-Israel advocates is clear: no dissent, or else allegations against your patriotism. And we just heard this policy from the mouth of a very prestigious advocate, prof Alan Dershowitz. So the complaint of Mr Stephens is misplaced, the correct characterization of what is required of politicians regarding Israel is indeed “allegiance”.

      One wonders why pro-Israel activists are so eager to accuse her of uttering Antisemitic tropes, given that she immediately explained that she does not attribute dual loyalty to her fellow American Jews who push her to show excessive support for Israel. And her interpretation of her own words is certainly authoritative, given that the fact that there is a very clear interpretation of her comment along the lines I sketched in 2, which is what Rep Omar herself more or less said in her series of explanatory tweets. Was it the word “allegiance” that triggered the pro-Israel activists? But then why not tell her just not to use that word anymore because it might bring to mind dual loyalty allegations.?Why do they misinterpret her statements against her own interpretation?

      My answer is that they did so because they are trying to stifle any talk around the influence of pro-Israel activism (more on this in a separate comment below). Prof Stephen Walt, the foremost expert on the influence of pro-Israel activism, put it very clearly in a must-read article of his in his blog at Foreign Policy immediately after the attacks that Rep Omar experienced due to her “Aipac” tweet (a different controversy that arose around Feb 12):

      https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/02/15/how-and-how-not-to-talk-about-the-israel-lobby/

      https://foreignpolicy.com/author/stephen-m-walt/

      “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.”

      Here is my suggestion to Rep Omar: since pro-Israel activists are going to be asking for her head, she should ask for trial by combat, and she should name prof Stephen Walt as her champion to fight in her stead:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trial_by_combat

      The substance of the discussion concerning the pro-Israel lobby revolves around issues that only experts are capable of offering to us in a digestible and concise form. There is no shame in not being an expert on American foreign policy in the Middle East and on the workings of the blob that produces it, and it is clear from their tactics that pro-Israel activists are going to try to smear her as ignorant and naïve. She should resort to advice from the foremost expert on these issues and try to bring him up as often as possible by explicitly stating that she consulted him – obscurity is what pro-Israel activists want to impose upon prof Walt, because he is not going to be an easy victim in debates.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        March 7, 2019, 1:10 pm

        I wrote:

        “I want to talk about the political influence in US that says that it’s ok for pro-Israel activists to push me via the use of Antisemitism allegations”

        I should have written:

        “I want to talk about the political influence in US that says that it’s ok for pro-Israel activists to push me via the use of labels

        The labels are not always about Antisemitism. As we saw, they are also about being anti-American.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        March 7, 2019, 1:19 pm

        God i don’t believe this, i forgot to post Rep Ilhan Omar’s tweet that explicitly renounced any intention on her part to convey that pro-Israel activists have dual loyalties:

        https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1102301578365685763

        “I have not said anything about the loyalty of others, but spoke about the loyalty expected of me. There is the difference.”

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        March 8, 2019, 10:35 am

        Concerning the issue I mentioned above (i.e. the readiness of pro-Israel activists to rush to throw allegations of Antisemitism, or of Antisemitic utterances) here is an instance of bad faith with regard to the first Antisemitic trope that Ms Omar is accused of having used back in 2012. She had said during a war in Gaza that Israel had “hypnotized the world”, an apparent reference to the indifference of the international community to Palestinian suffering. Now, as we learned from the Jewish community, in the past Jewish people had been accused with precisely this same word (that is, as hypnotizing) and this has led to Jewish suffering, and as a result present day Jews tend to feel uncomfortable with references that invoke, or directly refer to, Jews that hypnotize. There is no question then that invoking this theme about Jews hypnotizing their alleged victims is Antisemitic, given that the same meaning that Rep Omar sought to express can be expressed equally well by using a different word than the word “hypnotize”. Of course, Ms Omar had not the slightest idea of the baggage that the use of the term “hypnotize” carried, and she said so when challenged by Ms Bari Weiss from the New York Times. Here is how Rep Omar explained it:

        https://twitter.com/ilhanmn/status/1087580647085039616?lang=en

        Hi @bariweiss, You are correct when you say, “Perhaps Ms. Omar is sincerely befuddled and not simply deflecting”. In all sincerity, it was after my CNN interview that I heard from Jewish orgs. that my use of the word “Hypnotize” and the ugly sentiment it holds was offensive.”

        And this means that although her utterance was indeed Antisemitic (in effect), she is not blameworthy for her utterance because she was nonculpably ignorant of the effects that her utterance had on Jewish people. Nonculpable ignorance obtains when we do a bad thing without knowing that it is bad and without being responsible for the fact that we don’t know. Here is an analytic philosophy paper that nicely explains with an example the basic conceptual structure of interest to us regarding Ms Omar’s tweet:

        https://www.law.upenn.edu/institutes/cerl/conferences/actiolibera/reading/Culpable%20Ignorance%20(Smith).pdf

        “Recent moral philosophers standardly distinguish between the objective wrongness of an action and the agent’s blameworthiness for performing it. No matter how terrible the act may be from an objective point of view, the agent is not blameworthy if he had an excuse for what he did. Thus a doctor who treated a premature infant’s respiratory distress in 1954 by exposing her to un-necessarily high concentrations of oxygen, and so caused severe eye damage, did something terrible. But if the doctor did not real- ize that oxygen enrichment would have this effect, he is not to blame for the baby’s blindness. Ignorance of the nature of one’s act is the pre-eminent example of an excuse that forestalls blame. However, there are occasions when a person’s ignorance is itself criticizable-when he should have realized what he was doing. Per- haps the doctor should have known that high oxygen enrichment would induce blindness: the latest issue of his medical journal de- scribed a study establishing this effect and recommending the use of lower concentrations as equally effective for respiratory prob- lems. The doctor should have read his journal, and if he had done so, would have realized he ought to use less oxygen.’ In cases such as these, opinion is sharply divided: many people feel that such an agent must be blamed for using excessive oxygen, while others insist that his ignorance, however criticizable in itself, nonetheless excuses him. In this paper I examine the question of whether or not such “culpable ignorance” excuses.”

        So, Ms Omar, given that she was nonculpably ignorant of the effect that her utterance would have, cannot be blameworthy for the utterance. We could call her utterance “Antisemitic in effect”, to stress that there was no foreknowledge of the Antisemitism but that there was still a (presumed) deleterious effect upon Jewish people – that effect being either a feeling of hurt or uneasiness on the part of Jewish people who come into contact with the content of the utterance, or the increase in risk that Jewish people will be somehow harmed due to the extra entrenchment of hate into people’s minds ( both these effects, i.e. the hurt feelings of Jewish people and the risk of entrenching Antisemitic hate further in the minds of people, have been stressed by pro-Israel activists in recent discussions about Ms Omar’s tweets).

        But why do I claim that Ms Omar was nonculpably ignorant? Wasn’t this truth about the effects of the word “hypnotize” some sort of knowledge she should have? The answer is “no”, and the reason is that such knowledge is so esoteric, so rarely expressed in online discussions about Israel/Palestine, that no one could reasonably expect of Ms Omar to know it. I have been following discussions on Israel/Palestine in various comments sections and online posts for the past 6 years, and I have come to recognize easily an abundance of Antisemitic tropes (I learned about them by hearing Jewish commentators protesting them), yet this particular one was news to me. I could have used it myself. Ms Omar, then, is clearly not blameworthy for having uttered that Antisemitic sentence with the hypnotism.

        So far so good, but it is here that the bad faith of pro-Israel activists enters. And I am not talking about how Ms Omar was treated before she acknowledged that she didn’t know the Antisemitic trope, but about how she was treated after she explained that she didn’t know about the trope. The consensus, as far as I can see, is that this utterance about hypnotism counts as something against her, as something that is definitely included in her “Antisemitism ledger”,so to speak,, as something that makes her diachronically culpable. Here is Mr Ben Shapiro a week ago:

        https://www.dailywire.com/news/44130/stop-treating-ilhan-omar-child-her-anti-semitism-ben-shapiro

        “On Thursday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was caught on tape once again indulging in her favorite off-hours pastime – some cozy anti-Semitism with cheering fans. Omar, of course, has a long history of anti-Semitism: accusing Israel of “hypnotizing the world,” suggesting that American support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins,” backing the anti-Semitic BDS movement.”

        (Objection: the hypnotism trope was not in any interesting way Antisemitic; though it was Antisemitic, it did not involve any culpable state of mind, and Mr Shapiro’s censorious poignancy would be apt only if Ms Omar was indeed culpable in some or other way. But she wasn’t. She just didn’t know what it means to mix hypnotism with Jews).

        Here is the Elder of Ziyon, a famous pro-Israel blogger in the pro-Israel community, considering as a given that non-Jews know every single Antisemitic trope,( the hypnotism trope included), and that therefore they are culpable for uttering even the more obscure trope (such as the hypnotism one, which I repeat I didn’t know it myself and I think I know most of them given the time I have spent watching Israel/Palestine discussions) (emphasis added):

        https://www.algemeiner.com/2019/03/04/ilhan-omar-is-the-donald-trump-of-the-left/

        “She [Rep Omar] ’ll say something that is an obvious antisemitic dog whistle such as starting with how Jews are “hypnotizing the world” and then going on to falsely claim that AIPAC spreads money around to keep Congress in its pocket.”

        The “obviousness” exists only in the vigilant eye of the pro-Israel activists who are looking for any handle around to shut undesirable discussion about aspects of Israeli policy. The rest of the world know nothing about the hurtfulness of connecting Jews with hypnotizing. But such bad faith on the part of pro-Israel advocates, even as Rep Omar explicitly states that she was ignorant of the trope, poisons the discourse about Rep Omar by adding repetition upon repetition of the falsity that Ms Omar was somehow culpable for the hypnotism trope.

        Conclusion: the persistence of hurled accusations against Ms Omar for the first hypnotism tweet, even after she has plausibly claimed nonculpable ignorance, is an indicator of bad faith on the part of pro-Israel activists who still keep accusing Rep Omar for the hypnotism trope.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        March 8, 2019, 12:16 pm

        Here are a few thoughts of mine representative of my own working conceptual scheme regarding dual loyalty. I think it is the same conceptual scheme shared by many people – I don’t endorse it, of course, in the normative sense: I don’t believe in loyalty to countries, I don’t think that patriotism is a value, I don’t think that borders have any inherent significance, I don’t like national identities, I think we would better off without them. But I am trying pretheoretic baby steps in the direction of theorizing about the allegation of dual loyalty as it is used by “patriots”.

        It is logically possible for one to have “allegiance” both to her native country and to another country, and still not fall under the label of “having dual loyalties”. I take it as a necessary condition for dual loyalties that the person in question harbors more loyalty towards the other country than her own native country. If, on a scale of loyalty to country from 0 to 100, with 0 signifying indifference and 100 signifying the maximum amount of patriotism possible, if she has in her heart 90 units of loyalty for her country of birth (US), then she is required to harbor in her heart no more units of loyalty than 90 for Israel. Everything from 90 downwards is loyalty to Israel that is perfectly acceptable. Even equal loyalty to both the US and Israel are ok: dual loyalty requires that the person in question be more loyal to Israel than to the US for her to be properly considered a member of the set of people with dual loyalties. Therefore, being equally loyal to each country is fine.

        But what about cases where the interests of the US are incompatible with the interests of Israel? Let’s take the easy case, where we are talking about interests of the same importance, say the person in question has to make a decision that will inevitably result either in the loss of 5% of US per capita wellbeing, or 5% of Israel’s per capita wellbeing. I take it as a necessary condition for someone to be dual loyal that she would choose to sacrifice the US wellbeing for the sake of Israel’s wellbeing. If, on the other hand, she always prioritizes the US interests over Israeli interests of equal importance, she is not dual loyal.

        What about someone who has erratic behavior, i.e someone who sometimes prioritizes the interests of the one country, sometimes those of the other? This person then is, according to our theory, sometimes engaging in patriotic acts and sometimes in acts that evince dual loyalty.

        But what about cases of incompatible interests where there is significant difference in the size of the US and Israeli interests that are at stake? What if the person in question can act so as to save Israel from a massive reduction in wellbeing (say, 95%reduction), but her action necessarily involves a 1%reduction in US wellbeing? I think in these cases she wouldn’t fall under dual loyalty if she prioritized the Israeli interest. But I have no principled way to decide how large the difference between the incompatible Israeli and US interests should be in order to diffuse the charge of dual loyalty in case the person acts for Israel’s sake. What if the choice is between reduction in US wellbeing by 20% and the reduction in Israeli wellbeing is 60%? I have no answer, but then I don’t need to have one because I don’t believe in patriotism 😊 , as far as I am concerned my pro-Israel friends in my country, Greece, or in the US or wherever can knock themselves out if they feel like it and be 100% loyal to Israel and 0% loyal to their countries. Welcome to my post-nationalist utopia 😊:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOgFZfRVaww

        Mr Tom Friedman espouses precisely the conception of dual loyalty sketched above:

        https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/06/opinion/israel-ilhan-omar.html

        “I am not dual loyal. I always put America first, but I want to see Israel thrive — just like many Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Indian-Americans and others feel about their ancestral homelands.”

        To connect all this to the discussion about Rep Omar: Mr Bret Stephens is accusing her of Antisemitism, and he does so apparently on the grounds that her speech act was invoking dual loyalties. But as we saw, “allegiance” to Israel, even in the form of extreme loyalty of the 99 units-of-loyalty variety, does not count as dual loyalty so long as the person in question is equally loyal (or more) to the US. And Rep Omar only spoke of allegiance, not of dual loyalties, and she didn’t even cast the issue as an issue about the allegiance of US Jews but as allegiance required of her. True, my theory is not even remotely as rigorous as analytic philosophy demands, but it’s a tiny layman’s step in this direction. And compared to what Mr Bret Stephens writes about the Israel/Palestine conflict in the New York Times, it’s rocket science 😊

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 8, 2019, 2:37 pm

        The dual-loyalty conundrum becomes much simpler if we restrict the charges to those who have broken US laws and regulations to advance Israel.

        That’s a wide enough net to work with and still catch plenty of big fish.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        March 8, 2019, 3:08 pm

        Just to qualify my statement below:

        ” as far as I am concerned my pro-Israel friends in my country, Greece, or in the US or wherever can knock themselves out if they feel like it and be 100% loyal to Israel and 0% loyal to their countries.”

        It must be obvious that i was referring to loyalty to Israel as not being problematic on the grounds of dual loyalty. I was saying, in other words, that i don’t blame people for being more loyal to other countries than their own. I wasn’t saying that there are no other grounds on which it is morally problematic to be loyal to Israel, because such grounds do exist — the occupation of Palestine, for example. I was only saying that i wouldn’t call “traitor” someone who supports Israel more than his country. I wasn’t saying that supporting Israel is not blameworthy on other grounds.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        March 9, 2019, 8:37 am

        Mooser yes, those who, motivated by loyalty to Israel, break US law to advance Israel’s interests, would clearly fall under the concept of dual loyalty. But they can still be blamed for breaking the law for no morally legitimate reason, and blamed also for gravely harming the Palestinians (if the transgression is relevant to Palestine). They don’t have to be blamed for dual loyalty, even if it’s true.

        I had posted a comment after your first comment, but both showed up together, so i don’t know if my subsequent comment adds anything to what you had in mind.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2019, 11:54 am

        Blame is allright, there’s plenty to go around, but Federal charges under FARA or the laws prohibiting transfer of money to illegal enterprises would be better.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        March 9, 2019, 12:56 pm

        Mooser which is the case you are referring to?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 9, 2019, 2:19 pm

        “Mooser which is the case you are referring to?”

        Any case in which an organization or individual doesn’t comply with FARA laws. Or supplying money to a criminal enterprise like the upkeep of a settlement or outpost.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        March 9, 2019, 8:42 pm

        I didn’t know what FARA is, that’s why i asked. I thought you would post a relevant link

  15. Donald
    Donald
    February 13, 2019, 3:33 pm

    Actually, Jackdaw, you were making sweeping comments about Omar, trying to argue that she is an antisemite, and so the fact that she has been very critical of the Saudis is evidence that she isn’t fixated on “Jews”, but on human rights.

  16. baruch
    baruch
    February 15, 2019, 12:41 pm

    Gee Nancy I was just starting to appreciate you because you seemed to do a good job standing up to idiot face, but now you are back to your old racist zionist genocidal shenanigans. Shame on you! This is why I am not a Democrat and do not ever donate to the DNC.

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