Rep. Omar Faces Backlash After Accusing Pro-Israel Lobbying Group Of Buying Support

Mike Brest Reporter
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Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is facing backlash Sunday night after accusing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of buying pro-Israel support from members of Congress.

Chelsea Clinton, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, Congressman Max Rose, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, as well as others, all condemned Omar’s remarks. (RELATED: Rep. Omar Ignores Reporter’s Question About Why She Supports The BDS Movement)

The debacle began when Omar quote tweeted The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald. He tweeted a link to a Haartez article about McCarthy promising “action” against Omar and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. McCarthy’s statement in the article was not explicit in what he thought required “action,” but it appeared to be in reference to their statements about Israel.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 15: U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN)speaks to media outside the US Captiol on January 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. Members of the Freshman Class held a press conference on the government shutdown. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Greenwald’s tweet read, “GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @ and @ over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

Omar added, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” with a music note emoji.

Then, after receiving pressure to explain who she was talking about, she tweeted “AIPAC!”

In response, Clinton tweeted that politicians should “not traffic in anti-Semitism.” After facing criticism for her response to Omar, Clinton acknowledged that she would reach out to the congresswoman’s office Monday to follow up with her about this. (RELATED: Rep. Omar Defends Tweet Claiming ‘Israel Has Hypnotized The World,’ Says It’s Not About Religion)

Cheney, a Republican, tweeted that House Democrats should remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

“When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes and words against people of any faith, will not be silence. Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself. Implying that Americans support Israeli because of money along is offense enough,” Democratic Rep. Rose, who is Jewish, said in a statement. “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.”

McCarthy, who has made strong remarks against Omar previously, indirectly addressed her latest remarks, tweeting, “Anti-Semitic tropes have no place in the halls of Congress.”

Omar has made numerous statements about Israel that have been criticized. She has acknowledged support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement, implied that Israel is not a democracy, and has previously accused Israel of “[hypnotizing] the world,” although she has since somewhat apologized for it.

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