Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.
Representing Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, Omar serves on the House Foreign Affairs, Education & Labor Committees.
She introduced legislation pertaining to childcare for workers affected by the government shutdown, a separate measure challenging Trump’s Muslim ban from the wrong countries, another proposing lower drug prices, one more guaranteeing back pay for federal contract workers harmed by the shutdown.
Her criticism of Israeli apartheid ruthlessness was unrelated to anti-Semitism, justifiably calling its harsh treatment of Palestinians “evil doings.”
She supports vital BDS activism despite expressing “reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.” It’s the single most effective initiative against Israeli viciousness, essential to continue and build on past successes.
Falsely called anti-Semitic, she said “I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans. My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza War, and I’m clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war.”
Israeli high crimes affect all Palestinians throughout the Territories, along with their diaspora counterparts by denying their right of return, affirmed under international law.
On Monday, Trump disgracefully bashed her tweeting: “Representative Ilhan Omar is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel. Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!”
Eleven pro-Israeli groups called on Pelosi and Foreign Relations Committee neocon chairman Eliot Engel, to strip Omar of her Foreign Relations Committee membership, using it as a platform for truth-telling on vital geopolitical issues, including criticism of apartheid Israel, correctly saying: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” adding, “I want to ask: ‘Why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the (National Rifle Association), or fossil fuel industries, or Big Pharma, [but] not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policy” on Israel.
The AIPAC-led Israel lobby is perhaps the most powerful in Washington, greatly influencing US foreign policy, notably in the Middle East—including support for and promotion of wars of aggression.
In their letter to Pelosi, the 11 pro-Israel groups unjustifiably accused Omar of “strong biases against the State of Israel and the Jewish people”—for her courageous truth-telling they failed to explain.
They criticized her for speaking before the Alexandra, VA-based Islamic Relief USA humanitarian group—falsely called a terrorist organization.
It supports gender equity and justice, provides food aid to starving people, helps refugees displaced by US/NATO/Israeli wars of aggression, offers disaster relief, helps America’s homeless, and provides healthcare in the US for individuals unable to afford it—not the stuff terrorism is made of, just the opposite.
In response to the fabricated claims, the group said “Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) acknowledges that certain fringe organizations and baseless online media outlets promote false claims that IRUSA and/or its partners have ties to extremist or terrorist organizations.”
“However, these allegations are categorically false and completely without merit. IRUSA and its partners unequivocally condemn terrorism and violence manifested in any form.”
Omar responded to unjustifiable criticism of her truth-telling on Israel, saying, “I should not be expected to have allegiance [or] pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee,” adding, “I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks.”
“My Americanness is questioned by the president and GOP on a daily basis. Yet my colleagues remain silent. I know what it means to be American and no one will ever tell me otherwise.”
“I fight for peace and justice because only those who experience the pain of war, know the joy of peace.”
“Being opposed to Netanyahu and the occupation is not the same as being anti-Semitic. I am grateful to the many Jewish allies who have spoken out and said the same.”
Undemocratic Dems falsely accused Omar of “anti-Semitic tropes”—a bald-faced Big Lie.
Nearly the entire Congress at all times supports Israel, ignoring its apartheid viciousness, its war on Palestinians for over 70 years—none of its officials ever held accountable for their high crimes.
Sharp, sustained criticism of Israel by public figures is long overdue. Most important is ending US political, financial, and military support for its ruthless regime’s fascist rule masquerading as democratic.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.