Ilhan Omar Did Nothing Wrong

How Liberals decided to join the Right in smearing a Muslim woman of color and Progressives opted to stay silent

Kristie Boyd; U.S. House Office of Photography - omar.house.gov

Ilhan Omar is a new member of the United States Congress, serving as a Representative in the House for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district.

Omar made history in November for becoming the first Somali-American and the first Muslim woman (alongside Rashida Tlaib) to serve in the U.S. Congress.

Right now, she has caught herself in a “controversy” mainly fabricated by the Right and Liberals, simply because of these two tweets:

These tweets were made because House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) assumed that U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were “anti-Semitic” and “equal to Steve King” (a well-known white supremacist congressman) simply because of their opposition to Israel’s apartheid and neo-colonialist policies against Palestine. Kevin McCarthy went so far as to say that they should be punished for their anti-Israel remarks and support for the BDS movement.

So how Ilhan Omar decided to respond was to simply call out Kevin McCarthy and all the GOP in Congress because of their ties to a pro-Israel lobbying group called AIPAC, which has donated millions to the Republican party as pre-emptive bribes just so when they get to Congress they vote in favor of aid and arms deals for Israel: a country accused of human rights violations and apartheid against Palestinians.

What Ilhan Omar decided to do was espouse one of the most common critiques that anti-corruption advocates have been saying for years: money in politics is bad.

The corruption of our political system by AIPAC is no different than that of the NRA, private prisons, or pharmaceutical companies. All of these groups are, in effect, buying politicians because all of them have their own political agenda that they want to achieve. Even though Omar’s statement was just a simple critique of the United States’s corrupt political system, Right-wingers and Liberals decided to smear her.

Corporate media (such as CNN) has already decided to paint Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite, and various Republican politicians, including Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump, have also decided to use these tweets as a way to not only call Omar a bigot but also to call for the Democratic Party to force her resignation from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Even liberals such as Chelsea Clinton have decided to join the smear campaign and attack Ilhan Omar for standing up against Israeli apartheid in Palestine.

House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi even went so far as to not only call Ilhan Omar’s tweets “anti-Semitic,” but to also remark her full unmovable support for ethno-nationalist Israel.

When it came to so-called Progressives, Presidential primary candidate Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stayed silent and decided to not defend Ilhan Omar.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal defended Ilhan Omar from Trump’s call for her to resign from Congress, but she didn’t say that the critique against her was fabricated in order to politically assassinate her.

Even Rashida Tlaib, who has also been slandered for her positions on Israel-Palestine, did not come out in defense of Ilhan Omar.

What all this is achieving is the validation of the notion that criticizing Israel’s human rights violations and AIPAC’s influence in Congress is some form of anti-Semitic remark.

This Democratic “opposition” literally decided to ally with the Right in their attacks against a Muslim woman of color.

I feel the Right was really trying to find the best moment to take down Ilhan Omar because it really bothered them that a Muslim immigrant black woman could get into the U.S. Congress. Now, they’ve found the best occasion to murder her politically and liberals and progressives are being useful idiots of them because they’re helping to normalize this.

The fact that liberal politicians and so-called progressives didn’t defend Ilhan Omar from her bullies only shows how this “opposition” lacks any form of backbone and won’t do anything in order to stop U.S. imperialist interests in Israel and Palestine, especially considering how most of them (such as Pelosi, Sanders, and Gabbard) have shown support for Israel in the past. This is a sign they may actually ally with the Right in their support for ethno-nationalist Israel.

All of this culminated with Ilhan Omar deciding to apologize for her remarks, something saddening considering that she didn’t do anything wrong, but she was probably too overwhelmed by all the smears and lack of support for her that she simply decided to give up.

What we can learn from this is that not only is the opposition of Israel’s unjust policies in the U.S. totally weak, but politicians are even complicit as they remain silent in the face of injustice.

This phenomenon of smearing people for their political positions on Israel is not unique to the United States, considering how Jeremy Corbyn (the leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom) has endured a fierce campaign against him because of his support for Palestinian rights. The only difference is that members of the opposition to the Conservative government in the U.K. are in favor of Palestinian rights, while support for what could be considered Israeli genocide in Palestine is basically bipartisan in the United States, and the only critics of this notion have experienced harassment to the point of having to result in backing down from some statements because of fear of facing even more political attacks.

Liberals and Progressives in the U.S. Congress should be ashamed of this.

This article was originally posted on Medium.

Hans Alexander Razo is a Mexican-American Leftist raised in Mexico who currently studies a career on Political Science and Public Administration.

Hans is a Writer for Progressive Army.

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Ilhan Omar Did Nothing Wrong