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Despite past anti-Semitic, anti-Israel statements, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar criticizes Trump

Talking with MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, Omar condemned former president as "anti-Semitic" for saying Jews need to "get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel"

Despite her own history of making anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements, U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar joined the condemnation of former U.S. President Donald Trump for telling American Jews to “get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel.”

“Anti-Semitism is on the rise and all of us have a responsibility to condemn it,” the congresswoman told MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan on Tuesday, claiming that Trump’s wording in the social media post had been anti-Semitic. 

Trump had also noted that Evangelicals were “far more appreciative” of his pro-Israel policies than American Jews were, and pointed to the differences he recognizes exist between Israeli Jews and Jews living in the U.S.

“Those living in Israel … are a different story,” Trump wrote, claiming he had received the “highest approval rating in the world” from Israel, and said, consequently, in the State of Israel, he could “easily” be prime minister.

Omar said Trump “knowingly, repeatedly invokes dual loyalty tropes that are harmful and dangerous.”

In March 2019, U.S. House Resolution 241 called out Omar for making very similar suggestions about Jewish people.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for the allegiance to a foreign country,” the Democrat from Minnesota said in a town hall meeting at the time. Omar’s “dual loyalty” charge against American Jews drew criticism from then-fellow Democrat Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., who is Jewish. 

The resolution also called the congresswoman out for a social media post suggesting that Jewish people are buying political support when she tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” in reference to a $100 bill and the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC.

Nevertheless, on MSNBC, the progressive Democrat rebuked Republicans for failing to condemn Trump for his post.

“The hypocrisy of the Republicans is blatantly clear. They are not rushing out to condemn the former President,” she said.

Omar, a member of “the Squad” – a cadre of junior progressives in Congress – is known for backing the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement against Israel. 

She also wrote on social media in 2012 that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel” and, in 2018, wrote a post accusing the “Israeli regime” of apartheid.

In 2021, Omar equated Israel and the U.S. with terrorist organizations, tweeting: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.” 

Pro-Israel activists and social media users said Hasan’s choice to give Omar a platform to speak about anti-Semitism is hypocritical. 

Israeli-Arab activist Yoseph Hadad wrote: “I guess she is an expert of sorts on antisemitism given how much antisemitism she promotes in the USA … but the fact that’s who you invite on the topic instead of an actual expert says a lot more about the antisemitic message you wanted to platform on your show, Mehdi.” 

In another tweet, he added: “Next time just invite Kanye, bro.”

The famous rapper, Kanye West, recently told his 31.4 million Twitter followers that he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” – in a post that prompted Twitter to block his account.

Hasan responded to Haddad, saying that Omar appeared on his show to speak about the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. 

“I asked her about this story, and she condemned anti-Semitism,” he said. “Should she not have condemned it? Should I not have asked her about it?”

Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.

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