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US Congresswoman, Illan Omar (D-Minnesota) Under Attack For Criticizing AIPAC..

March 6, 2019

Ihlam Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashid Tlaib – The New, Refreshing Faces in the House of Representatives. All young, Brown and Black, the hope of change…

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We need to support Ilhan Omar…as well as Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…The Congressional Brown and Black-skinned holy trinity for peace, justice and accountability

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1.

Three new members of the House of Representatives, all women of color, one whose family originates from Africa, the second from the Middle East, the third from Latin America.

  • All representing important American cities – Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, New York City.
  • All supported by a base of working class, Brown and Black, progressive and Socialist elements.
  • All young, poised and already showing a kind of toughness and principle that makes moderate Democrats cringe and Trump like Republicans poop in their pants.
  • All under attack by the right-wing in the scurrilous manner they have become accustomed to – racist and death threats; and all in one way or another already!! more or less abandoned by the more moderate elements of the Democratic Party.

Together they don’t only represent the future of Congress, but the future of the nation. It is their policies and principles that have the possibility of igniting a national constituency that could sweep Trumpty-Dumpty and his ilk of corporate, racist and corrupt elements from power if they can survive the current political bipartisan, media driven onslaught to bring them to their knees politically.

  • Do they have the metal to stand strong in face of all the mud and threats slung at them?
  • Can they avoid buying into the mainstream narrative and go on the offensive against the racism, bigotry and political cowardliness of their opponents? 
  • Can those of us who worked to elect them, and those of us in other states who “danced the horah” when they were elected consolidate our support for them?
  • Can progressive Jews in particular, break away from the stranglehold of the likes of Sheldon Adelson, Larry Mizel here in Colorado – right-wing Zionist types that have always supported and will always Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians, AIPAC  pressure to get the U.S. to attack Iran, deny the oppressiveness, or even the existence of the Israeli Occupation of Palestinian lands?
  • Can new political coalitions come together and solidify, the kind that sprang up in the 1960s and 1970s – but with a new social chemistry – to meet the challenges of the day?

2.

A vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in response to controversial comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar is set to slip past Wednesday amid intensifying pressure from the left both inside and outside the House Democratic Caucus.

An assortment of progressive groups have come out squarely in support of Omar, accused of anti-Semitism for her criticisms of the pro-Isrfaeli PAC, AIPAC. Due to pressure from their own constituencies, both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus are trying to delay the vote, asking for more time to review the situation.

Support the Congressional Holy Trinity, Ilhan Oma, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

So…an all out political attack on Ilhan Omar…one of the refreshing new members of the House of Representatives is under way. She is accused of racism – specifically anti-Semitism – for suggesting that AIPAC is acting as a foreign lobby influencing US policy towards the Middle East.

As Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman noted in a piece “The Dishonest Smearing of Ilhan Omar”:

“In what is surely the most shameful decision of her current term as speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has decided that the time has come for the House to rebuke Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for things she didn’t actually say, and ideas she didn’t actually express. In the process, Pelosi and other Democrats are helping propagate a series of misconceptions about anti-Semitism, Israel, and U.S. political debate.”

Ilhan is only saying what US peace and human rights activists have been saying for decades – and saying it all quite modestly.

Let me be clear – the attack on Ilhan Omar is racist to the core. To criticize AIPAC is not anti-Semitic – it is needed; The racists are those who are attacking her. It is the Dems in Congress, who interestingly enough find common ground with Trump Republicans, who are out to destroy her. Hope she can/will stand tall.

We all need to support Ilhan Omar…as well as Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…The Congressional holy trinity for peace, justice and accountability

3.

Phyllis Bennis, who had emerged out of the solidarity movement for Middle East Peace of the 1970s and 1980s, as one of the most important and incisive commentators on U.S. Middle East policy, a founding member of the US Campaign for Palestine, on the board of Jewish Voice for Peace, as a Jewish woman and a progressive, wrote a defense of Ilhan Omar that appeared in The NationIt is worth reading, reproducing and acting upon far and wide.

The Democratic Party Attacks on Ilhan Omar Are A Travesty. by Phyllis Bennis

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I’m Jewish and have worked against anti-Semitism for decades.

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I was sitting a few feet from Omar at Busboys and Poets and I heard nothing – nothing – that smacked of anti-Semitism, overt or coded or otherwise

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“Attacks on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar are rising. One of the first Muslim women elected, Omar is also black, an African immigrant, a former refugee from Somalia, and wears her hijab in the halls of Congress. She is under attack from the leaders of her own party for anti-Semitic statements she never made, for anti-Jewish prejudice she never expressed, for hatred of Jews she doesn’t hold. And the Democratic Party leadership is considering a resolution whose early text, at least, while not mentioning Omar by name, is clearly aimed at accusing her of precisely those things, despite the fact—ignored by the Speaker of the House and other top officials—that she never said or believed any of those words.

“The most recent attacks on Representative Omar are based on her answer to a broad question about anti-Semitism during a recent town hall meeting at Busboys & Poets in Washington, DC. I was there, sitting just a few feet from Omar, asking a question during the Q&A. She never said that Jews have dual loyalty. She never expressed “prejudicial attitudes” or supported “discriminatory acts” against Jews or anyone else. And yet that is the language being proposed for a Democratic Party–sponsored resolution aimed at undermining Omar’s credibility, and likely that of Rashida Tlaib, the other Muslim woman just elected to Congress. Like Omar, Tlaib, who is Palestinian, stands forthrightly in support of Palestinian rights, against the power of the pro-Israel lobby and other lobbies that use money to influence Congress to support guns, environmental destruction, and Israeli violations of human rights—and she stands against racism and anti-Semitism.

“For the Democratic Party leadership to launch these false claims of anti-Semitism is a travesty. Ilhan Omar’s words were powerful, passionate, principled, and based on a deep truth. No lights were dimmed that night. Fearless voices, and hundreds of their supporters, from every community, every race, everyone, were all that we heard. And all we needed to hear.

“These members of Congress understand that real anti-Semitism in the United States has been rooted in white supremacy since the Ku Klux Klan reemerged in 1915 and added Jews to the African Americans who had long been their primary target. That’s the real anti-Semitism we’re seeing—the violence of the Charlottesville march by Nazis and the Klan, the Pittsburgh synagogue murders, all of it rooted in white supremacy. Criticism of Israel, and of its human-rights and international-law violations and its lobbies, is simply not anti-Semitism.

“I’m Jewish. I’ve worked against anti-Semitism, in the context of working against white supremacy, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and beyond, for decades. And I heard nothing—nothing—that smacked of anti-Semitism, overt or coded or otherwise. Ilhan Omar simply didn’t say it.

“Here’s some of what she did say.

“I know what intolerance looks like and I’m sensitive when someone says, “the words you use Ilhan, are resemblance of intolerance.” And I am cautious of that and I feel pained by that. But it’s almost as if every single time we say something, regardless of what it is we say, that it’s supposed to be about foreign policy or engagement, our advocacy about ending oppression, or the freeing of every human life and wanting dignity, we get to be labeled in something, and that ends the discussion, because we end up defending that, and nobody ever gets to have the broader debate of “what is happening with Palestine?” So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask, why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA, of fossil-fuel industries, or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobby that is influencing policy.…

“I mean, most of us are new, but many members of Congress have been there forever. Some of them have been there before we were born. So I know many of them, many of them, were fighting for people to be free, for people to live in dignity in South Africa. I know many of them fight for people around the world to have dignity, to have self-determination. So I know, I know that they care about these things. But now that you have two Muslims who are saying, “here is a group of people that we want to make sure they have the dignity that you want everyone else to have!”…we get to be called names, we get to be labeled as hateful.

“No, we know what hate looks like. We experience it every single day. We have to deal with death threats. I have colleagues who talk about death threats. And sometimes…there are cities in my state where the gas stations have written on their bathrooms “assassinate Ilhan Omar.” I have people driving around my district looking for my home, for my office, causing me harm. I have people every single day on Fox News and everywhere, posting that I am a threat to this country. So I know what fear looks like. The masjid I pray in in Minnesota got bombed by two domestic white terrorists. So I know what it feels to be someone who is of faith that is vilified. I know what it means to be someone whose ethnicity is vilified. I know what it feels to be of a race—like I am an immigrant, so I don’t have the historical drama that some of my black sisters and brothers have in this country, but I know what it means for people to just see me as a black person, and to treat me as less than a human. And so, when people say, “you are bringing hate,” I know what their intention is. Their intention is to make sure that our lights are dimmed. That we walk around with our heads bowed. That we lower our face and our voice.

“But we have news for people.… what people are afraid of is not that there are two Muslims in Congress. What people are afraid of is that there are two Muslims in Congress that have their eyes wide open, that have their feet to the ground, that know what they’re talking about, that are fearless, and that understand that they have the same election certificate as everyone else in Congress.

“For the Democratic Party leadership to launch these false claims of anti-Semitism is a travesty. Ilhan Omar’s words were powerful, passionate, principled, and based on a deep truth. No lights were dimmed that night. Fearless voices, and hundreds of their supporters, from every community, every race, everyone, were all that we heard. And all we needed to hear.

 

 

 

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. William Conklin permalink
    March 6, 2019 10:34 am

    It is so nice to read an article of hope amid the racist clamor of the Empire and its minion, Israel, that are getting ready to attack the world. The young generation are the ones that must make the change, Although the baby-boomers tried in the 60’s, we did stop the Vietnam War and get civil rights going, but since then we have failed. There are actually millions of American Baby Boomers who would not even understand the basic premises of this article. Hopefully the younger generation, threatened by Nuclear War and Climate Catastrophe will open its eyes and make immediate change. If not, they are doomed by the Capitalist Cyclops.

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