Was Ilhan Omar’s ‘Dual Loyalty’ Comment Anti-Semitic?

Omar used anti-Semitic tropes

She has a point regarding Israel

 Getty: Alex Wong / Staff

The comments of Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar regarding those who support Israel in America reflect a wider trend of left-wing anti-Semitism, asserts Lee Zeldin of Fox News. Her most recent statements alleging that certain entities are loyal to Israel more than they are to the United States exemplified that. The myth that one can’t be a loyal American while supporting Israel has many precedents in the persecution and vilification of Jews. Omar’s anti-Semitism comes to show from other comments, such as saying that Israel is hypnotizing the world, another bigoted trope against Jews. She also alleged that US support for Israel was solely based on money, which belies the longstanding close ties between both countries and their people. Even those within her own party recognize that Omar has crossed the line and needs to be called out.

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While House Representative Ilhan Omar’s comments regarding pro-Israel forces in American politics were poorly worded, they are rooted in reality and not anti-Semitism, argues Jordan Weissmann of Slate. Israel and its supporters hold major sway in US politics. Republicans indicated that their loyalty to Israel’s leader was stronger than to America’s when inviting Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress to directly undermine Barack Obama in 2015. The charges of anti-Semitism Omar has received are misguided. They also partly prove her point. When she said that labels of anti-Semitism are often used to silence criticism of Israel, she was promptly called a “Jew-hater.” Altogether, Omar is spot-on that a wider and more nuanced debate is needed on America’s relationship with Israel. She should be more careful to stay away from anti-Semitic tropes, though.

Keep on reading at Slate
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