Representative Ilhan Omar was slammed by freshman rep. Max Rose, who claimed Omar’s tweets were ‘deeply hurtful to Jews’, and suggested that lawmakers were ‘bought off’ by a pro-Israel lobbying group, The Hill reports.
“When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes against people of any faith, I will not be silent,” Rose wrote on Twitter. “Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself. Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive enough. But go a step further, and retweet someone declaring their pain at her sentiment is truly unacceptable.”
“At a time when anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, our leaders should not be invoking hurtful stereotypes and caricatures of Jewish people to dismiss those who support Israel. In the Democratic Party – and in the United States of America – we celebrate the diversity of our people, and the Gods we pray to, as a strength. The Congresswoman’s statements do not live up to that cherished ideal.”
Earlier Sunday, Omar responded to a question about who she “thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel” by saying “AIPAC!” The tweet was referencing the major pro-Israel lobbying group.
She also retweeted journalist Glenn Greenwald responding to a story about Rep. Kevin McCarthy promising “action” toward the Minnesota lawmaker and Rep. Rashida Tlaib over their alleged anti-Semitism. She captioned that retweet with a message: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” referring to money.
Omar’s office initially responded to The Hill’s request for comment about the “Benjamins” tweet by referring to her AIPAC tweet. When asked about Rose’s statement, Omar’s office directed The Hill to a response from the member of Congress to Chelsea Clinton.
“Chelsea – I would be happy to talk. We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith. I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you,” said Ilhan Omar in a tweet.
The American Jewish Committee, a major Jewish advocacy organization, also blasted Omar’s statements, calling them “stunningly anti-Semitic.”
Omar, as a well as Tlaib, have previously been criticized for their support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which condemns Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Both maintain that the movement is not anti-Semitic.