Ilhan Omar Is Not Finished With AIPAC

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar
Photo: AP

There’s a lot to be said about this year’s AIPAC conference, but primarily, it’s been a venue for Democrats and Republicans in attendance to illustrate just how hopping mad they’ve become over Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Omar didn’t attend the conference, but given how many times she was referenced over the past three days, she might as well have been the keynote speaker. Which is why it’s understandable that on the third day of the conference, Omar is continuing to “raise hell” about it and push back on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to AIPAC, which both directly and indirectly mentioned her.

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“Again the Jews are said to have too much influence, too much power, too much money,” he said. “I have a message to all the anti-Semites out there...whether they march through the streets of Charlottesville, or murder worshipers in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Whether they voice their hatred in political parties in...the United States: the Jewish people do not bow down. We stand up, we fight, and we win.”

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On Tuesday, after earlier dunking on Netanyahu for trying to make some bad point about Omar’s comment on foreign influences upon U.S. politicians, Omar expanded on her thoughts on AIPAC and Netanyahu with a Twitter thread.

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“To confront hate and bigotry in all its forms, we must understand that they are all related. We cannot call out one form of hate while turning a blind eye to another,” Omar tweeted, going on to mention her own cosponsorship of a bill elevating the position of Special Envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, and her first op-ed after her election on the rise of hate crimes.

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Omar also responded to critics who have claimed she targets the pro-Israel lobby because it’s a Jewish state, countering that she doesn’t criticize AIPAC “because of its membership or the country it advocates for,” but rather “because it has repeatedly opposed efforts to guarantee peace and human rights in the region.” She also singled out Netanyahu’s opposition to both the Iran nuclear deal and the Oslo accords.

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“We cannot accept a status quo of perpetual armed conflict and occupation. We must forever strive towards peace,” Omar ended her thread.

Whether this actually changes the mind of anyone who actively chose to side with Netanyahu over Omar remains to be seen. But if anyone expected Omar to stop talking about the Israel-Palestine issue or AIPAC’s influence in American politics in the face of rebukes from party leaders and potential primary challenges, Omar just thoroughly proved them wrong.

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About the author

Samantha Grasso

Splinter Staff Writer, Texan