Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) slammed Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in an opinion-editorial for The Atlantic Thursday, writing that by repeatedly trafficking in antisemitic tropes, she is associating herself with “calamities from the Spanish Inquisition to the Russian pogroms to the Holocaust.”
Omar is under fire for suggesting last week that pro-Israel groups pressure lawmakers to pledge “allegiance” to the Jewish state. Emanuel’s criticism of Omar comes as House Democrat leadership struggle to agree on the contents of a resolution condemning antisemitism. The Chicago mayor, who has previously faced similar accusations of dual loyalty, offers up stern rebuke of Omar in contrast to 2020 Democrat presidential candidates, such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kama Harris (D-CA), who claim condemning the freshman congresswoman would make her a “target” and stifle public policy debates.
I’m all for new voices in the U.S. Congress. But lately, some of those new voices have been voicing some very old canards.
I’m talking about Representative Ilhan Omar, one of the newly elected Democrats who populate the 116th Congress. Omar has attracted much news coverage, and the condemnation of most of her fellow Democrats, for promoting some ugly tropes about Jews.
First, when questioning long-standing congressional support for Israel, she blamed the campaign money provided by pro-Israel supporters. “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” she tweeted.
After apologizing for that comment and acknowledging her need to be “educated,” she followed with another tweet, questioning the “allegiance” of supporters of Israel, intimating that we place the concerns of Israel above those of the country that we call home.
No one is questioning the right of members of Congress and others to criticize Israeli policies. But Omar is crossing a line that should not be crossed in political discourse. Her remarks are not anti-Israel; they are anti-Semitic.
Read the rest of Emanuel’s op-ed here.