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Ilhan Omar on Peter King’s retirement: ‘Good Riddance’

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After longtime GOP Rep. Peter King announced that he would not seek reelection Monday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) took to Twitter to make it clear that she wasn’t exactly upset by the news.

King was first elected to the House in 1992, where he represented New York’s 3rd District. After the state was redistricted in 2012, King was elected as the representative for District 2. A New York Times piece on King’s departure describes him as a “seasoned moderate lawmaker”, but his political career will be defined by his history of racism and Islamophobia.

“Peter King is an Islamophobe who held McCarthyite hearings targeting American Muslims, said ‘there are too many mosques in this country’ and blamed Eric Garner for his own death at the hands of police,” tweeted Omar, “Good riddance.”

In 2011, King held controversial hearings over the “radicalization” of American Muslims. That same year he appeared as a guest on Islamophobic conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney’s radio show, where he declared that Muslims weren’t sufficiently “American” during times of war. “Whether it’s cultural tradition, whatever, the fact is the Muslim community does not cooperate anywhere near to the extent that it should,” he told Gaffney. After Eric Garner was choked to death by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, King defended Pantaleo’s actions and blamed Garner’s asthma and weight for what happened. After a grand jury decided not to indict the officer, King tweeted, “Thanks to SI grand jury for doing justice & not yielding to outside pressure. Decision must be respected. Compassion for the Garner family.” In 2018, King compared the National Anthem protests of some NFL players to Nazi salutes.

After Omar made a series of tweets criticizing the Israel Lobby in February, King attacked the Minnesota Rep and accused her of antisemitism. “No. 1, Israel is our main ally strategically,” King told Fox News at the time,”They are indispensable to our foreign policy in the Middle East. That’s No. 1. No. 2, it’s immoral to be suggesting that somehow members of Congress are being paid off by Jews, by AIPAC. That goes right into the anti-Semitic bias, which has plagued the world for too long.”

In contrast to Omar’s King tweet, Senate Minority Leader and New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer praised the retiring Representative. “Peter King stood head & shoulders above everyone else,” tweeted Schumer, “He’s been principled & never let others push him away from his principles. He’s fiercely loved America, Long Island, and his Irish heritage and left a lasting mark on all 3. I will miss him in Congress & value his friendship.”

In 2017, King and Schumer both cosponsored bills that would criminalize the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Michael Arria

Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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3 Responses

  1. Misterioso on November 12, 2019, 10:19 am

    “After Omar made a series of tweets criticizing the Israel Lobby in February, King attacked the Minnesota Rep and accused her of antisemitism. “No. 1, Israel is our main ally strategically,”

    Bull crap!!

    In fact, “Israel is our main” geopolitical liability. While financially dependent on American taxpayers, it serves no useful purpose. Indeed, its well documented monstrous crimes committed against the indigenous Palestinians and other Arabs are the principle cause of their justified animosity towards the U.S. The good news is that ever increasing numbers of Americans are comprehending the ugly truth.

  2. genesto on November 12, 2019, 12:49 pm

    Here again, I have to wonder why Omar is standing alone, in this case in telling it like it is about tis despicable man. Where are any of the others that must feel the same way? Where’s the rest of the Squad?

    At times like this, it really does seem that Congress is really just an elite club where Representatives posture about policy and what’s right and wrong for America but, away from the spotlight, seem to enjoy each other’s company more than they do about the country they’ve been elected to represent. The sickening paeans of Schumer, the Shomer, are clear evidence of this.

  3. eljay on November 12, 2019, 2:00 pm

    … After Omar made a series of tweets criticizing the Israel Lobby in February, King attacked the Minnesota Rep and accused her of antisemitism. “No. 1, Israel is our main ally strategically … That’s No. 1. No. 2, it’s immoral to be suggesting that somehow members of Congress are being paid off by Jews, by AIPAC. That goes right into the anti-Semitic bias …

    It’s quite impressive the way Zionists deliberately and anti-Semitically conflate Israel and Zionism with Jews in order to be able to smear with destructive accusations of anti-Semitism people who are speaking not about Jews but about Israel and Zionism.

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