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Ilhan Omar

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar must be held accountable for her damaging antisemitic rhetoric.

Accusations of antisemitism have been a feature of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s political career.

The Minnesota Democrat supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, has labeled Israel as an apartheid state and has made antisemitic tropes part of her rhetoric for years.

In Omar’s latest Israel-bashing stunt, she accused Israel of deliberately killing Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh during a shootout with Palestinian fugitives in Jenin in May.

Israeli investigators did not get to examine her body, and the Palestinian Authority adamantly refuses to let the IDF inspect the bullet.

If blaming Israel for killing Abu Akleh is premature and prejudicial, accusing the IDF of deliberately firing on her is a blood libel. Yet that is exactly what Omar did.

“She was killed by the Israeli military, after making her presence as a journalist clearly known. We provide Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid annually with no restrictions. What will it take for accountability for these human rights violations?” Omar tweeted.

Unfortunately, Omar has a history of reverting to high-profile antisemitic tropes.

• In 2012, she tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

• In 2018, she claimed that U.S. support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” alluding to the image of Benjamin Franklin on $100 bills and song of that name.

• Omar has also insinuated that her Jewish Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill have dual loyalties.

A certain individual who refuses to ignore Omar’s latest blood libel is one of her own constituents, Rabbi Hayim Herring, who wrote an open letter to Omar and posted it as a petition on Change.org. Simply put, her prejudice towards Israel is unbecoming of a member of Congress and Omar must retract her tweet.

“You made this comment before a verifiable forensic or international investigation was completed. You claimed that Israel was behind the death of Abu Aqla and implied that Israeli officials planned to murder her without verifiable proof. These claims are a version of the dangerous anti-Jewish ‘blood libel’ trope,” Rabbi Herring wrote.

Noting the impact of her rhetoric on American Jews, Herring wrote, “As a House Foreign Affairs Committee member, you know that U.S. military aid to Israel must be reinvested in the American economy. Your words that there are ‘no restrictions’ are untrue. Your inflammatory statements about Israel translate into escalating online hate and physical violence against American Jews.”

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar must consider the impact of her words and retract her tweet.

Sign the Campaign Against Hate petition.

Sign the petition at Change.org