Politics

Netanyahu Takes Swipe At Omar: ‘It’s Not About The Benjamins’

REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to take a swipe at Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar Tuesday over a series of comments she made that were widely perceived to be anti-Semitic.

“From this Benjamin, it’s not about the Benjamins!” Netanyahu said in reference to U.S. support for Israel. The prime minister was making a video call from his home country to a roaring crowd at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, D.C.

Netanyahu was scheduled to appear in person at the conference in D.C. but had to return to Israel due to Hamas’ attacks on the country. (RELATED: Netanyahu Drops Defiant Response To Accusations, Indictment)


Netanyahu’s comments appeared to be a not-so-subtle reference to comments Omar made when she claimed that U.S. support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins,” comments that were widely panned by both sides. (RELATED: Ilhan Omar Snaps At CNN Reporter: ‘Are You Serious?’)

The polarizing freshman lawmaker has been a lightning rod for criticism at this year’s conference. Prominent Democrats such as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer used their speeches to take shots at Omar and other anti-Israel freshmen Democrats.

“I stand with Israel, proudly and unapologetically. So, when someone accuses American supporters of Israel of dual loyalty, I say: accuse me,” Hoyer said.

Schumer also slammed the “dual loyalty” smear, commonly used to smear Jewish Americans.

“These age-old anti-Semitic tropes are false and we must renounce them. You can be a Jew and care about Israel and it does not make you any less American. You can be a Jew and lobby for Israel and it does not make you any less American,” Schumer said. “You can be, all at once, completely Jewish, completely pro-Israel, and completely American.”

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