Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has told a hometown newspaper in Minnesota that she brings “the perspective of a foreigner” to U.S. foreign policy.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Tuesday: “The Somali-born Minnesota Democrat, saying she brings ‘the perspective of a foreigner’ to her new role, believes that American foreign policy needs to be changed in fundamental ways.” She added that U.S. foreign policy needs “something equivalent to the Green New Deal.”
Omar has a history of radical left-wing activism, and brought a long record of anti-Israel — and antisemitic — rhetoric to Washington. Before winning a seat in Congress, she had called Israel an “apartheid regime,” and tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” (She has since deleted the tweet.) She backs the “boycott, divestment, sanctions” (BDS) movement against Israel — despite telling voters in 2018 that she did not.
Nevertheless, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appointed Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where she has continued to cause controversy — not just regarding Israel, but other issues as well.
In January, for example, Omar referred to Venezuela’s socialist opposition as “far right,” and blamed U.S. sanctions for that country’s economic woes, rather than the dictatorial behavior or the socialist economic policies of Nicolas Maduro’s regime.
In April, Omar appeared to downplay the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, saying that “some people did something.”
Omar has also repeatedly used antisemitic rhetoric in Congress. In February, she claimed, falsely, that a pro-Israel group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), bribed members of Congress to support Israel (“It’s all about the Benjamins”). She apologized after pressure from party leaders.
Later, Omar accused pro-Israel Americans of “allegiance to a foreign country” and refused to apologize. A subsequent House resolution that was ostensibly to have criticized her antisemitism was watered down to criticize all forms of hatred and failed to mention her specifically. (Omar even claimed victory after the resolution passed, falsely arguing that it was the first congressional resolution to criticize anti-Muslim bigotry.)
Nevertheless, Pelosi has rejected calls to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
It is not clear exactly what Omar believes “the perspective of a foreigner” means. She consistently portrays American influence abroad as a malevolent force, especially when it involves the U.S. military.
The Star-Tribune notes: “She’d like to see a vastly downscaled U.S. military presence around the world, and much less direct intervention in the domestic politics of other countries.” It quotes Omar herself calling for the U.S. to lead “with moral conviction” through “diplomacy, in cultural and economic exchange.”
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.