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Ilhan Omar

Plenty of Benjamins here in Boston!

Jeff Klein on
Promotion of recent New England leadership dinner at AIPAC. Partial full screen image from screenshot.

AIPAC’s promotion of a recent New England leadership dinner in Boston at $300 a head shows that the leading Israel lobby group raised nearly $5 million from just one region of the country. So when pro-Israel voices say that Ilhan Omar is wrong, AIPAC doesn’t work by raising money, they’re trying to deceive you.

As mainstream comes down hard on Palestinians, Sanders cites human rights violations in Gaza

Philip Weiss on

Israelis are the innocents, while Gaza militants are “terrorists” in countless statements about the weekend’s violence from U.S. Democrats and liberal Zionist groups. That makes Bernie Sanders’s call for an “evenhanded” policy and concern about human rights violations in Gaza remarkable for political courage. Sanders says he has been “criticized over and over again” for his stance.

Progressives build power through solidarity

Nada Elia on
Illustration used to show solidarity with Rep. Ilhan Omar on social media

Nada Elia writes: “Throughout the history of this country, progressive change has come from the grassroots, against the reactionary few.  Now, as at other critical historical junctures, we need to make it clear to those coming under attack for their political and moral integrity that we will mobilize for them. As hate is emboldened, we need to send an unambiguous message: we are still the majority, they are the fringe.”   

As the Israel lobby in the US weakens, its UK counterpart grows more fearsome

Jonathan Cook on

Jonathan Cook writes that while there are signs politicians in the U.S. are finally ready to shine a light onto the pro-Israel lobby, the opposite is taking place in United Kingdom. He says this is due to the way the Israel lobby has recently emerged in British politics – hurriedly, and in a mix of panic and damage limitation mode due to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, and the end of the international two-state consensus.

Supporting Israel is now ‘liability’ for Democrats, but ’60 Minutes’ doesn’t trouble Pelosi about it

Philip Weiss on
Nancy Pelosi meets with three former UK Labour MP's who left the party over Israel and alleged anti-Semitism. April 14, 2019. From Twitter.

On “60 Minutes,” Nancy Pelosi called herself a progressive and dismissed leftwing congresswomen as a mere “five people,” and Lesley Stahl never challenged her about the fissure in the party over Israel. Though more and more commentators are saying that Israel support has become the battleground among Democrats, and Pelosi is busy catering to AIPAC and Netanyahu.

Trump brags he blew off calls from world leaders to give Adelsons the greatest gift: Jerusalem

Philip Weiss on
Sheldon Adelson at the RJC, from Amichai Stein's twitter feed. April 6, 2019.

Before Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, he says he got calls from “presidents, dictators, prime minister, kings, queens– everybody” and didn’t take the calls. Similar pressure kept previous presidents from making the move, he told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas yesterday, but moving the embassy made his biggest donors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, very happy.

Democratic leaders’ use of AIPAC to bash Omar and ignore Netanyahu just gave progressive Dems a giant boost

Philip Weiss on

The big story coming out of AIPAC is every one in the Democratic leadership dumping all over the first term Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, while having nothing to say about Benjamin Netanyahu. In the process they have clearly damaged their own standing inside the progressive wing of the party, including among liberal Zionist advocates. When House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said Omar should accuse him of dual loyalty for his support for Israel, he seemed to confirm what she had said.

‘Intense hatred of Israel is moving from margins to center of US politics’ — Howard Kohr of AIPAC

Philip Weiss on

The AIPAC policy conference in Washington began Sunday on a defensive note, with the Israel lobby organization’s chief executive saying that Israel’s friends face a terrible new challenge: taking on “the scurrilous charge of dual loyalty” and declaring “The intense hatred of Israel is now creeping from the margins to the center of our politics.” 

Palestine solidarity work is most effective when done within an anti-racist framework

Alice Rothchild on
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). (Photo: Ilhan Omar for Congress/Facebook)

The recent fury and attacks on Ilhan Omar and her forthright statements exposing and criticizing the role of the Israel lobby come at time when issues of political framing are roiling Jewish and progressive communities. Alice Rothchild says the controversy further clarified her understanding that Palestine solidarity work is most effectively accomplished within an anti-racist, anti-white supremacist framework.

Anti-Palestinian tropes

Donald Johnson on

“Israel has a right to exist” is a rationalization of ethnically cleansing Palestinians. “Israel has a right to defend itself” is a rationalization of slaughtering Palestinians. The mainstream is filled with dehumanizing anti-Palestinian tropes, and it has never occurred to any of the mainstream liberal critics of Ilhan Omar to write about them. They need to get out of their bubble and see how America looks from the Middle East.

Democrats are now officially split on Israel, and we can thank Ilhan Omar and BDS

Philip Weiss on
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) arrives for her victory party on election night in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 6, 2018. (Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images)

When the Democratic leadership backed down on its anti-Ilhan Omar resolution, it signaled that a movement for Palestinian human rights that has been crushed several times by the party in recent years now must be reckoned with as the mood of the progressive base. Leading presidential candidates support Omar, and Gallup shows that liberal Democrats are nearly as sympathetic to Palestinians as Israelis.

House resolution rejecting hate is a band-aid for a broken leg

Jonathan Ofir on

The US House of Representatives passed an extended resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other forms of racism, in response to the outrage concerning Ilhan Omar’s comments concerning Israel and its lobby. But Omar’s comments were not about Jews, and the resolution doesn’t address the problem, which is that allegiance to Israel can’t be questioned.

Muslims — not Jews — are being targeted with racist loyalty canards

Amith Gupta on
Images of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (l) and Ilhan Omar

That the blatant bigotry of expecting Muslims to prove their loyalty has become a staple of American political life is made that much more obvious by the recent attacks on those who raise entirely legitimate concerns about Zionist lobbying and U.S. support for Israel. Were Congress genuinely concerned about racist canards of “dual loyalty,” they would be spending their time fixing U.S. immigration laws to undo the Muslim ban rather than making false allegations of the canard against two people who are actually its victims.

The shameful attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar

James Zogby on

Jim Zogby says what is happening to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar should be of concern to all Americans, but regardless the debate she has ignited will continue. “The House of Representatives may pass their resolution, but that won’t close the door on the discussion Omar’s courage has helped to open.,” he writes. “If anything, their behavior and incitement against her has pried it open even further.”

Ilhan Omar and the anatomy of a trope

Tom Suarez on
Ilhan Omar

Tom Suarez writes that the real taboo Ilhan Omar broke was not accusing AIPAC of buying politicians, it was correctly distinguishing between Jews and the Israeli state.

Hannah Arendt would agree with Ilhan Omar

Philip Weiss on
Hannah Arendt

In 1944 Hannah Arendt warned that Israel’s founders were exposing American Jews to the charge of dual loyalty by their dependency on US support. When Ilhan Omar questions the allegiance of some Israel advocates, it’s a legitimate criticism of Zionism.

‘I am told I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel’ and that’s problematic — Ilhan Omar stands strong amid blizzard of attacks

Philip Weiss on

Amid attacks from Democratic colleagues in the House, Rep. Ilhan Omar says that she finds it “problematic” that “I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel.” And she knows many Americans agree with her. “I just happen to be willing to speak up.”  The progressive base of the party is behind her, in a sign that the party is dividing on Israel.

The anti-Semitism of ‘kike’ and social exclusion has morphed into hazy ‘tropes’ about Israel

James North and Philip Weiss on
Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfsheim in the 2013 movie version.

Anti-semitism used to mean job discrimination in universities and leading industries and stigmatization of Jews as “kikes.” Today Jews are socially included, and the definition has shifted to mean any strong criticism of Israel. That’s because Israel supporters must do anything they can to prevent support for BDS from entering the political mainstream.

Jews stand with Ilhan: There is nothing anti-semitic about calling out AIPAC’s noxious role

Mondoweiss Editors on

Prominent Jews, including Molly Crabapple, Dave Zirin, Tzvia Thier, Naomi Klein, Ilan Pappe, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Shir Hever, and Moshe Machover sign a statement standing by Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar for her criticism of AIPAC. As long as the US gov’t stands behind Israeli crimes, the 229 signatories and counting will point to the outsize role of the Israel lobby.

France’s Macron leads the way as western leaders malevolently confuse anti-Zionism with antisemitism

Jonathan Cook on

Jonathan Cook says that elites in the U.S. and Europe have moved on from their once-defensive posture that Zionism is not racism. Now, they are on the attack. Their presumption is that anti-Zionism is synonymous with racism and across the West there are efforts to codify this into law. Nowhere is this clearer than in France where Emmanuel Macron recently threatened to outlaw anti-Zionism.