Opinion

KERNS: Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib Are Making Female Politicians Look Bad

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Jen Kerns Contributor

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) held a press conference on Monday to protest Israel’s decision to block them from the country. The duo failed to mention the most important detail: The fact that their trip was sponsored by an organization whose members have supported radical terrorism against Israel.

The group, Miftah, claimed in 2013 that Jews were using the blood of murdered Christians in rituals during Passover services, a longstanding anti-Semitic statement known as “blood libel.” The group later apologized. Even worse, the group has defended Palestine’s practice of paying the families of terrorists.

As heinous as statements from the sponsoring organization have been, it isn’t even necessary for Israel to cite them. International protocol dictates that any sovereign nation has the right to deny entry to anyone they see fit. If Israel had reason to believe that two anti-Israel members of Congress sponsored by a terror-supporting organization had the potential to incite terror and fan the flames of hatred, the country was well within its right to pull the welcome mat.

After all, the host country would have undoubtedly spent countless dollars protecting the congresswomen who slammed the very security forces protecting them on their trip.

The most disappointing part is that the pair of women appear to be branding themselves as victims — while perpetrating their lie against the American people and Israeli people. To fail to disclose that a pro-terror organization was paying for their trip isn’t just disingenuous, it falls short of the integrity required of them to serve as Congress members.

It also makes it difficult to trust anything the duo says in the future. If they didn’t bother telling the American people that pro-terror forces were footing the bill for their trip, what else aren’t they telling Americans?

Women leaders must live up to the highest standards of transparency and integrity. We must be the better communicators. We can’t simply tell one part of the story that benefit us, while leaving out the other half of the story that doesn’t reflect well upon us.

When Omar and Tlaib were elected as the first two Muslim women to serve in the largest class of women ever elected to Congress, they pledged to do a better job than the men who served before them. However, the pair has done nothing but divide the country (and some would say, even their own party) with anti-Semitic rhetoric including hate speech which merited congressional discipline.

By acting upon their emotions, sowing division among their fellow Americans, and creating undue drama over a congressional trip for the apparent purpose of embarrassing the U.S. and her allies, the pair is sadly feeding into the historical stereotype of female leaders against which so many of us fight.

According to the findings of a recent survey from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, women continue to fight against the stereotype that “women are not as emotionally suited as men to serve in elected office.” Sadly, Omar’s and Tlaib’s obnoxious behavior, along with their tacit acceptance of organizations that support terrorists, make it all the more challenging for future female leaders who wish to run for office someday and be taken seriously.

Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) is founder of Women for A Great America, a 501c4 organization dedicated to educating and engaging women on civic issues. She served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8 which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.


 The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.