Friday, February 15, 2019

Chelsea Clinton Slams Democrat Ilhan Omar for Antisemitism

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton called out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Sunday evening for using an anti-Jewish stereotype when she alleged that members of Congress had been paid to support Israel.

Omar began by tweeting “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in response to a comment by left-wing Israel critic Glenn Greenwald in which he lamented that Congress in general, and Republicans in particular, supported Israel.

It’s all about the Benjamins baby https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019

Omar’s response triggered a torrent of criticism — including from left-wing pundits critical of Israel.

Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess. Bad form, Congresswoman. That’s the second anti-Semitic trope you’ve tweeted. https://t.co/FTCaCe7WyG

— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) February 11, 2019

The first-term Minnesota Democrat — whom Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promoted to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month — answered:

AIPAC! https://t.co/UdzaFUEfrh

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019

Omar’s reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) referred to a common theme in antisemitic commentary on the extreme left and right. AIPAC is a lobby group that does not donate to candidates.

Ungar-Sargon, among others, was not impressed:

Please learn how to talk about Jews in a non-anti-Semitic way. Sincerely, American Jews. https://t.co/qo3BU2Pqgn

— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) February 11, 2019

In the ensuing Twitter melée, Omar retweeted a left-wing journalist who said of her comments: “She might as well call us hook-nosed.” She apparently only noticed the first part of his tweet, where he echoed her criticism of Israel.

Ilhan Omar retweet (Screenshot / Twitter)

Ilhan Omar retweet (Screenshot / Twitter)

Eventually, Chelsea Clinton weighed in:

Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 11, 2019

That drew a response from others on the left, who continued to slam AIPAC.

Disappointed @ChelseaClinton is pilling on @IlhanMN instead of reaching out to her. She is a new MoC and figuring out how to navigate calling out AIPAC ( which is a terrible organization aligned with Bibi) and learning that a lot of folks will assume the worst. https://t.co/eZMy2jyY7y

— melissa byrne (@mcbyrne) February 11, 2019

AIPAC is not “aligned” with any particular Israeli government, but rather supports the U.S.-Israel alliance in general.

Others were even more abusive — and Clinton stood her ground against Omar’s “anti-Semitic language and tropes”:

Hi Alexandr – my children are thankfully asleep and have been for hours. I think we always have to call out anti-Semitic language and tropes. I feel that way particularly as a parent. Hope you have a good night. https://t.co/mp3GNStW82

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 11, 2019

Nevertheless, Chelsea Clinton responded by promising to “reach out” to Omar:

Hi Melissa – I will reach out to her tomorrow. I also think we have to call out anti-Semitic language and tropes on all sides, particularly in our elected officials and particularly now.

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 11, 2019

Omar replied to the overturn by suggesting her critics were attacking her for her Muslim faith:

Chelsea – I would be happy to talk. We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith.

I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you. https://t.co/EGA9NQfBCi

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019

At no point did Omar acknowledge that what she had said was in any way antisemitic or offensive.

Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, is Jewish.

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.

Joel B. Pollak

More From: Joel B. Pollak
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