Pollak: Democrat Ilhan Omar’s Phony ‘Lobbyist’ Excuse for Antisemitic Remarks

Ilhan Omar (Alex Wong / Getty)
Alex Wong / Getty

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) apologized Monday for antisemitic remarks about why members of Congress support Israel. She added, however: “I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in politics.” She went on to mention the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), among others.

The truth is that Omar is quite happy to accept support from lobbyists and advocacy organizations — especially left-wing and anti-Israel ones.

Ironically, Omar retweeted a statement of support from a lobbyist group last weekend — namely, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

MPAC’s tweet referred approvingly to a Washington Post article that reported Omar and fellow radical Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) had pushed the Democratic Party in a more anti-Israel direction.

Ilhan Omar MPAC retweet (Screenshot / Twitter)

Ilhan Omar MPAC retweet (Screenshot / Twitter)

The MPAC website describes lobbying — “advocacy campaigns” — on a variety of issues, including on foreign policy.

MPAC has a particularly colorful history. As former terrorism prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote for National Review in 2012, it was founded in 1988 “by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood and admirers of Hezbollah.” Its president, Salam al-Marayati, has “spoken sympathetically of violent jihad” on several occasions, McCarthy reported. After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, for example, al-Marayati suggested to an L.A. radio station that the State of Israel might be responsible.

Rep. Omar promised to reject contributions from corporate political action committees (PACs) in her 2018 race — and she largely did. But she accepted over $100,000 from ideological PACs, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations-California PAC.

The larger CAIR organization lobbies Congress and advocates for positions that are often radical.

In 2015, CAIR offered legal assistance to the family of the San Bernardino terrorists. Its Los Angeles director suggested American foreign policy was to blame for the attack.

Moreover, as Breitbart news has noted:

In 2007-8, CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the terror financing trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That case, in turn, led the FBI to discontinue its work with the organization. In 2009, a federal judge ruled that the government “produced ample evidence to establish” the ties of CAIR with Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. The United Arab Emirates labeled CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014 (a decision that the Obama administration opposed).

By claiming, falsely, that her primary concern is “lobbyists,” Omar is trying to deflect attention from the real motivation for her antisemitic remarks: a radical worldview that includes deep hostility to Israel and its supporters.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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