Late last month, media outlets and progressives blamed President Donald Trump for an anti-Semitic attack on worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh that left eleven dead. The president denounced the attack and suggested that armed guards at the facility might have been able to prevent the deadly assault. Some analysts contended that he was essentially blaming Jews for the attack. However, there are Democrats who have been repeatedly questioned about their stance on Israel and anti-Semitism.
Eleven rabbis called on Trump to refrain from visiting the synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in the wake of the attack. However, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited the synagogue soon after the attack, where Rabbi Jeffery Meyers witnessed what he said is a warm side of the president that "America doesn’t get to see."
While much attention was focused on Trump’s response to the attack, media outlets have given comparatively little coverage to what some see as anti-Semitism expressed by Ilhan Omar -- a Muslim woman who was elected to represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She becomes one of two Muslim women who will go to Congress in the next term, including Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
In 2012, Omar tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” It was not until 2016 that she first gained public office, when she was elected to the Minnesota state legislature. She has since followed up with similar statements. For example, in May 2018, she tweeted, “Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews.” On the same day she tweeted: “Well you know, if a Muslim says something negative about Israeli government, they must hate Jews. Didn’t you get that memo?”
As a member of Minnesota’s state legislature, Omar condemned Israel.
Omar came to the United States more than two decades ago as a refugee from Somalia, thereafter joining the large Muslim Somali community in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. She is taking the seat vacated by Rep. Keith Ellison -- who was the first Muslim elected to Congress -- who won the election on Tuesday to become the next state attorney general. Omar was endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who was elected to the House of Representatives to represent a district in New York. Ellison himself has had to respond to charges of anti-Semitism and for his ties as a young man to the Nation of Islam, which is led by the rapidly anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan.
The 5th District of Minnesota, which Omar will represent, has a substantial Jewish population that has regularly returned Democrats to Washington DC. Among the prominent members of that community are former U.S. Senator Al Franken (D), columnist Tom Friedman, former senator Al Franken, political scientist Norm Ornstein, Hollywood directors Joel and Ethan Coen, and singer/songwriter Peter Himmelman.
Republicans and Democrats have voiced alarm over Omar's electoral victory. The Republican Jewish Coalition listedher among "racists and anti-Semites" running as Democrats in 2018, while the Jewish Democratic Council of America refused to endorse her. Omar herself denies she is an anti-Semite. A professed Muslim, Omar espouses a leftist litany of support for Obamacare, open borders, abortion, and LGBTQ rights. Islam takes a very dim view of abortion, and especially homosexuals. In countries such as Iran, homosexuals have been hung in public after being found guilty of engaging in prohibited sexual practices.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.