Congresswoman Omar ignites new anti-Semitism controversy with comments on AIPAC

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Oct 27, 2017
129
To be blunt, I don't give a shit about what Republicans do. They're on the whole terrible. It's like when I was a child and being scolded by my mother and responding with "B-b-but my friend Joey's parents let him _____________!" The response to that was usually a quick "I don't care one bit what Joey's parents let him do."

I can hold on to be the undeniable fact that Republican morals reside in the same place shit goes after I flush the toilet, while expecting better from people who claim to represent me. Omar knows better, and she needs to do better, regardless of what's happening on the other side of the aisle.
Pro-Palestinian advocates have been beaten over the head with the "anti-Semitism" cudgel for generations, and you're further enabling this by mischaracterizing her tweets under that lens. It's not anti-Semitic to point out that the pro-Israeli lobby, and pro-Israeli mega donors, use their political donations to drive policy outcomes favorable to their views. That's what lobbies do, and AIPAC is the pro-Israel lobby.

The idea that we can call out undue influence of donor money in all areas except when it comes to Israel is nothing more than an attempt to stifle the debate surrounding our policies towards that country. This is nothing like the true anti-Semitic tropes painting someone like George Soros as a shadowy puppet-master pulling the strings of the global elite with his hoarded wealth. This is pointing out the reality of what happens in the daylight, transparently, openly, and in the same way we discuss lobbies for every other aspect of the political debate.

We should police our language when the attacks are valid. These attacks are not being done in good faith, and the goal is clear. There's no need to enable them any further.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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She's representing you by being the only individual from Congress (aside from Rashida) brave enough to call out AIPAC and USA's incessant defense on the apartheid regime Israel is pioneering.

I never hear this vast public rhetoric of "I expect better from the people who claim to represent me" when they line up in defense of Israel.
That's because democrats lining up in defense of Israel generally don't use anti-palestinian dog-whistles when doing so. I.E. they're more careful in their rhetoric because accepting Israeli lobbying money necessitates careful political maneuvering on the left.
 

Royalan

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Oct 24, 2017
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We should police our language when the attacks are valid. These attacks are not being done in good faith, and the goal is clear. There's no need to enable them any further.
I think it's equally wrong to brush aside every criticism Omar is getting over this gaffe (and previous gaffes) as "done in bad faith." She's taking plenty of good faith heat here, because frankly this keeps happening. I pay not one iota of attention to what Republicans and the alt-right are saying about this, and neither should she.

I don't understand why it's so outlandish to expect a seated congresswomen to use her words wisely and call out the issues she's choosing to highlight with clarity. I mean, that's exactly what you just did in this post.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,154
Honestly conflating a tweet about money with antisemitic tropes is pretty antisemitic.
I think many people who suffer from regular antisemitism look to point it out rightfully, because they're ignored. This leads sometimes to incorrectly identifying antisemitism and in cases like this - perceiving antisemitism via an antisemitic trope they are actively looking for.
you're making a lot of claims here..

have you ever suffered from regular anti-semitism?
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,026
I think it's equally wrong to brush aside every criticism Omar is getting over this gaffe (and previous gaffes) as "done in bad faith." She's taking plenty of good faith heat here, because frankly this keeps happening. I pay not one iota of attention to what Republicans and the alt-right are saying about this, and neither should she.

I don't understand why it's so outlandish to expect a seated congresswomen to use her words wisely and call out the issues she's choosing to highlight with clarity. I mean, that's exactly what you just did in this post.
Shit, I put more effort into my posts on ResetERA than congresswoman Omar did in a tweet to her 517k followers.

Hell, nearly EVERYONE who's posted in this thread has put more effort in than she did.

If she wants to have a space to be a flippant leftie activist, she needs to have a private account imo
 

AAK

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Oct 25, 2017
1,574
That's because democrats lining up in defense of Israel generally don't use anti-palestinian dog-whistles when doing so. I.E. they're more careful in their rhetoric because accepting Israeli lobbying money necessitates careful political maneuvering on the left.
I'm calling BS. Democrats that publically defend Israel's use of force on Gaza is blatantly worse than a tweet from a Congresswoman.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,026
I'm calling BS. Democrats that publically defend Israel's use of force on Gaza is blatantly worse than a tweet from a Congresswoman.
Let's call them out then! Start a thread listing the Democrats that publically defend Israel's use of force on Gaza and I'll be the first to post a denouncement.

Or do you think democrats cannot criticize anti-semitic language as well as pro-apartheid language?
 

junomars

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"tough shit"

really?
I don't know what to tell you. If you take a statement from someone in a way that they clearly didn't mean then thats on you. Maybe people would be more sympathetic if claims of antisemitism weren't exploited so many times by Pro-Israel people to handwave away valid criticisms.

People know exactly what Omar is talking about. All of this disingenuous pearl clutching will do nothing but make people even madder.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,109
Let's call them out then! Start a thread listing the Democrats that publically defend Israel's use of force on Gaza and I'll be the first to post a denouncement.

Or do you think democrats cannot criticize anti-semitic language as well as pro-apartheid language?
Let's start with this one then.
Pelosi, who was the 52nd Speaker of the House, previously served from 2007 to 2011 in the position which coincided with the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza war known as Operation Cast Lead. In 2009, Pelosi sponsored a resolution that passed the House by a 390-5 majority blaming the Palestinian side for the violence and reaffirming U.S. support for Israel and a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Stephen Zunes, author and professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco, pointed out at the time that the language in the House decision was even to the right of the Bush administration, which supported the UN Security Council resolution condemning “all acts of violence and terror directed against civilians” - the congressional resolution only condemns the violence and terror of Hamas.
 
Dec 22, 2018
92
That's because democrats lining up in defense of Israel generally don't use anti-palestinian dog-whistles when doing so. I.E. they're more careful in their rhetoric because accepting Israeli lobbying money necessitates careful political maneuvering on the left.
You don’t need a dog whistle when the goal is to maintain the (abhorrent and unjustifiable) bipartisan-supported status quo. They should be held accountable for their policy positions, not their rhetoric.
 
Oct 27, 2017
129
I think it's equally wrong to brush aside every criticism Omar is getting over this gaffe (and previous gaffes) as "done in bad faith." She's taking plenty of good faith heat here, because frankly this keeps happening. I pay not one iota of attention to what Republicans and the alt-right are saying about this, and neither should she.

I don't understand why it's so outlandish to expect a seated congresswomen to use her words wisely and call out the issues she's choosing to highlight with clarity. I mean, that's exactly what you just did in this post.
Because it's only a "gaffe" if you attribute the worst possible interpretation to her motives, rather than her accurately addressing the situation.

As I pointed out before, the fact that Thomas Friedman can say it without registering a blip but Omar gets vilified for saying the *exact same thing* has less to do with what she's saying, and more to do with who she is while she says it.

AIPAC has the same language on their own website. Haim Saban, one of the largest donors to Democrats, famously says "I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel." Sheldon Adelson has openly donated hundreds of millions of dollars to pro-Israel causes. Are we not able to point out that Trump gave the Medal of Freedom to Miriam Adelson, whose husband happens to be his biggest donor, because it would be anti-Semitic to point out that his donations secured him undue influence with the President?

Just as much as we have to avoid using anti-Semitic canards in discussing these subjects, we equally have to come to the defense of those who are being attacked in bad faith. Ilhan Omar, the first black Muslim-American woman in Congress, is being attacked for speaking about what is an open fact. We should be defending her from the bad faith attacks, not enabling the language policing that has been used to silence pro-Palestinian advocates for decades.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,026
You don’t need a dog whistle when the goal is to maintain the (abhorrent and unjustifiable) bipartisan-supported status quo. They should be held accountable for their policy positions, not their rhetoric.
They should be held accountable for both, anything less is negligence.
 

AAK

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Oct 25, 2017
1,574
Let's call them out then! Start a thread listing the Democrats that publically defend Israel's use of force on Gaza and I'll be the first to post a denouncement.

Or do you think democrats cannot criticize anti-semitic language as well as pro-apartheid language?
Democrats should promote the overall message of fighting Israel's apartheid regime more than they police the tact of the messaging.
 
Nov 13, 2017
762
Acting and arguing in bad faith, against valid critisisms of a regime and the political representatives of that regime, which does not operate in good faith against the Palestinians, is par the course.

The willful ignorance to lack a nuanced enough take in order to not understand the distinction between the alt right's truly gross and outright hostility towards the jewish population and a politician attempting to stand up to political power and moral corruption is appalling.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
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Rote accusations of anti-semitism against one of the only Muslim congresswomen. Expect more of this from both Republicans and Democrats going forward.

Democrats should promote the overall message of fighting Israel's apartheid regime more than they police the tact of the messaging.
But that would require Democrats to actually give a shit about Israeli apartheid. They don't.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,154
I don't know what to tell you. If you take a statement from someone in a way that they clearly didn't mean then thats on you. Maybe people would be more sympathetic if claims of antisemitism weren't exploited so many times by Pro-Israel people to handwave away valid criticisms.

People know exactly what Omar is talking about. All of this disingenuous pearl clutching will do nothing but make people even madder.
intent is irrelevant when you're leaning up against some bigoted stereotypes

people crying wolf too many times is irrelevant when you're leaning up against some bigoted steroetypes

I don't care how many people have acted in bad faith prior to an instance of anti-semitism being called out

these standards for when and how people are allowed to call out anti-semitism are bullshit

be better
 
Nov 14, 2017
5,173
That’s still a drop in the bucket for PAC money when overall PAC expenditures reach into over $1b.

Money isn’t why politicians support Israel.

Republicans support Israel due to geopolitical ambitions in the area and end of times prophecy.

Democrats support Israel out of lack of democratic options in the Middle East, religious identity, and diplomacy.
The NRA spent in the tens of millions in the 2016 election cycle as well, of course each individual lobby is going to seem like a drop in the bucket because everyone who has money is spending some of it for political support. No one would argue that NRA lobbying is ineffective at warping discourse, skewing legislation results away from popular sentiment re: background checks and gun regulations.

Why is it that half of the 2020 Democratic candidates are pledging not to take PAC money? Could it be because they want at least the outward appearance of not being influenced by persistent lobbying pressure to adjust their views towards moneyed interests?

Israel is about as popular nationwide as Trump's Wall, but the discourse surrounding support of them is presented as if 80% of all legislators must do so to avoid popular backlash. This distortion is because of lobbying.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,026
Democrats should promote the overall message of fighting Israel's apartheid regime more than they police the tact of the messaging.
I agree, however Omar's overall message in that tweet is "American politicians are controlled by israeli money", and the message was delivered with specific echoes of anti-semitism. We need to be able to recognize specific instances of mistakes made by politicians we agree with.

The flippant message, on the surface, by Omar is little different than putting Soros on a mailed flyer to imply a democratic opponent is controlled by jewish money.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,385
I agree, however Omar's overall message in that tweet is "American politicians are controlled by israeli money", and the message was delivered with specific echoes of anti-semitism. We need to be able to recognize specific instances of mistakes made by politicians we agree with.

The flippant message, on the surface, by Omar is little different than putting Soros on a mailed flyer to imply a democratic opponent is controlled by jewish money.
no, her message is that american politicians are controlled on the issue of israel by PAC and donor money, most of which comes from americans

she's not saying that every policy we have is dictated from tel aviv
 
Nov 13, 2017
762
"Tangentially", "poor judgment", "accidentally" "jokingly". The same excuses the right uses when they peddle their own racist bullshit. It was a clear antisemitic dogwhistle. She knew exactly what she was doing. There is a reason very liberal people are pissed about her language
They are pissed because we have a zero tolerance policy towards calling out Israel on its campaign of ethnic cleansing. Name a single criticism that isn't reduced to anti-Semitism.
 

Royalan

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Oct 24, 2017
1,727
Just as much as we have to avoid using anti-Semitic canards in discussing these subjects, we equally have to come to the defense of those who are being attacked in bad faith. Ilhan Omar, the first black Muslim-American woman in Congress, is being attacked for speaking about what is an open fact. We should be defending her from the bad faith attacks, not enabling the language policing that has been used to silence pro-Palestinian advocates for decades.
Well, to be fair the average person probably doesn't know who Thomas Friedman is while, for better and worse, Ilhan Omar is in the national spotlight.

Besides that though, the issue I take with your position is that you're conflating bad faith actors with legitimate allies who legitimately take issue with the fact that Omar can't seem to stop making these gaffes that flirt with anti-Semitic language and tone. And the solution shouldn't be to tell those people to be quiet for the sake of "the bigger picture." Anybody, but especially a Congress person, should be able to do both: to call out the bad faith criticism while acknowledging that there are actual allies they've pissed off and to do better.

But as we see with Omar, this keeps happening. And, frankly, I'm tired. I'm tired of having yet another week of having to explain why somebody sitting in Congress didn't actually mean this, or you're only distracting from that. We have to expect our leaders, the people whose butts we put in those seats, to be better. To open books and read them. To not make the mistakes that somebody in middle school could have seen coming, and to handle the fallout appropriately when they do. And I wish I was describing Omar at this point but I'm not.
 

junomars

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Nov 19, 2018
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intent is irrelevant when you're leaning up against some bigoted stereotypes

people crying wolf too many times is irrelevant when you're leaning up against some bigoted steroetypes

I don't care how many people have acted in bad faith prior to an instance of anti-semitism being called out

these standards for when and how people are allowed to call out anti-semitism are bullshit

be better
Except criticizing Israel and AIPAC is not anti-semitism.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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Nov 13, 2017
762
It is Important to remeber that these sorts of criticisms are merely an attempt to deflect debate away from its content, and instead towards the form and thus sidestepping the issue actually at hand.

Sort of like with BLM, anytime a concern about the movement is raised its never about the message, but merely how the message is "being communicated". They don't accept the message because they cannot win that argument, so instead they use a cheap rhetorical trick to deflect from the true issue.

So for example, no one in this thread who is claiming this tweet is out of line, has addressed the issue she has raised within the tweet, instead ignoring the content of her message to discuss the form.

We are allowing cheap rhetorical tricks to win.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
13,154
Your post clearly insinuates that you think what Omar tweeted constitutes antisemitism.
it definitely leaned up against an anti-semitic stereotype. that's why we're here! so our representatives can learn how to criticize something without leaning up against bigoted stereotypes
 
Oct 27, 2017
129
Well, to be fair the average person probably doesn't know who Thomas Friedman is while, for better and worse, Ilhan Omar is in the national spotlight.

Besides that though, the issue I take with your position is that you're conflating bad faith actors with legitimate allies who legitimately take issue with the fact that Omar can't seem to stop making these gaffes that flirt with anti-Semitic language and tone. And the solution shouldn't be to tell those people to be quiet for the sake of "the bigger picture." Anybody, but especially a Congress person, should be able to do both: to call out the bad faith criticism while acknowledging that there are actual allies they've pissed off and to do better.

But as we see with Omar, this keeps happening. And, frankly, I'm tired. I'm tired of having yet another week of having to explain why somebody sitting in Congress didn't actually mean this, or you're only distracting from that. We have to expect our leaders, the people whose butts we put in those seats, to be better. To open books and read them. To not make the mistakes that somebody in middle school could have seen coming, and to handle the fallout appropriately when they do. And I wish I was describing Omar at this point but I'm not.
I'm sympathetic to the fact that you're tired. But for those who have been fighting for Palestinian rights, this is the reality they deal with every day. They've been accused of anti-Semitism for every action they take. Violent resistance is anti-Semitic. Non-violent resistance is anti-Semitic. BDS is anti-Semitic. For Palestinians, their mere EXISTENCE is treated as anti-Semitism. So when you have a congresswoman, the first Muslim congresswoman, supporting BDS and bringing the Palestinian cause into the forefront of the debate again after it's been relegated to the backburner for 20+ years, this is a positive development and we need to defend her against bad-faith attacks. Because we know the true goal isn't to police her gaffes - the goal is to stop bringing this issue up entirely. They got AOC to stop talking about Israel with the same tactics. But it seems like Omar isn't so easily intimidated, and I sure as hell won't pile on when she's showing so much political courage.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,167
So pro Israeli lobbies can throw as much money over and under the table and EVERYBODY recognizes it but you can’t reference the money without being anti Semitic?

Is the issue here just the joke being employed? That money is the central issue of a lobbyist group? Come on now.
 
Oct 26, 2017
6,026
So pro Israeli lobbies can throw as much money over and under the table and EVERYBODY recognizes it but you can’t reference the money without being anti Semitic?

Is the issue here just the joke being employed? That money is the central issue of a lobbyist group? Come on now.
You certainly can't invoke anti-semitic dog whistles in the criticism.

You've NEVER been able to invoke anti-semitic dog whistles.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,385
it definitely leaned up against an anti-semitic stereotype. that's why we're here! so our representatives can learn how to criticize something without leaning up against bigoted stereotypes
if the stereotype is that jewish people use their money to run the world and everyone is conflating AIPAC/israel with jewry please explain how it will ever be possible to point out that there's a lot of pro-israel lobbying money sloshing around DC that buys influence without being antisemitic

and if we're not conflating AIPAC/israel with all jewish people then nothing she said was a problem in the first place right?
 

Royalan

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Oct 24, 2017
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I'm sympathetic to the fact that you're tired. But for those who have been fighting for Palestinian rights, this is the reality they deal with every day. They've been accused of anti-Semitism for every action they take. Violent resistance is anti-Semitic. Non-violent resistance is anti-Semitic. BDS is anti-Semitic. For Palestinians, their mere EXISTENCE is treated as anti-Semitism. So when you have a congresswoman, the first Muslim congresswoman, supporting BDS and bringing the Palestinian cause into the forefront of the debate again after it's been relegated to the backburner for 20+ years, this is a positive development and we need to defend her against bad-faith attacks. Because we know the true goal isn't to police her gaffes - the goal is to stop bringing this issue up entirely. They got AOC to stop talking about Israel with the same tactics. But it seems like Omar isn't so easily intimidated, and I sure as hell won't pile on when she's showing so much political courage.
I understand this, but ultimately I also expect members of Congress to put in the same effort many of the posters on this board have.

I mean, the fact that my Twitter feed is blowing up over this is something, and I don't follow any of the "They" that want to silence Palestinian support or criticism of the actions of the Israeli government. And as the first Black and Muslim member of Congress, I wish Ilhan Omar was being an intellectual leader on this topic, and not the equivalent of somebody farting in a room to get people to open a window.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,167
You certainly can't invoke anti-semitic dog whistles in the criticism.

You've NEVER been able to invoke anti-semitic dog whistles.
Is this anti Semitic dog whistle here the Benjamins thing?

Listen, this made sense when it was Lebron and Jay z’s lyric. Talking about how money influences (Israeli) Lobby groups is a reach.
 

junomars

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it definitely leaned up against an anti-semitic stereotype. that's why we're here! so our representatives can learn how to criticize something without leaning up against bigoted stereotypes
Ehh it leaned upon a fact of life. If that fact leans upon a stereotype then that's not Omar's problem.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,154
if the stereotype is that jewish people use their money to run the world and everyone is conflating AIPAC/israel with jewry please explain how it will ever be possible to point out that there's a lot of pro-israel lobbying money sloshing around DC that buys influence without being antisemitic

and if we're not conflating AIPAC/israel with all jewish people then nothing she said was a problem in the first place right?
almost every single poster in this thread has shown more tact with regards to this issue than her so it seems easy enough

Ehh it leaned upon a fact of life. If that fact leans upon a stereotype then that's not Omar's problem.
it quite literally is her problem
 

junomars

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Factual criticism of something that is actually happening is an anti-semitic dog whistle?
Yeah this is clearly what they are implying but are too scared to say.

"You can criticize Israel but just don't say anything about the millions of dollars in the lobbies"
 
Oct 25, 2017
49
How is it not anti-semetic to police the boundaries of Jewishness and imply ALL Jewish people march in lockstep with AIPAC and its attendant ideology? How is it not anti-semetic to erase the huge swaths of liberal-minded Jewish people, that dissent from both AIPAC and the Israeli government's policy agenda, from The Discourse? I mean, am I missing something? Do I have a blind spot? It seems like the mainstream media and D.C. establishment has internalized an inverse form of anti-semetism that shows itself when specious claims of anti-semetism are made.
 
Oct 27, 2017
129
I understand this, but ultimately I also expect members of Congress to put in the same effort many of the posters on this board have.

I mean, the fact that my Twitter feed is blowing up over this is something, and I don't follow any of the "They" that want to silence Palestinian support or criticism of the actions of the Israeli government. And as the first Black and Muslim member of Congress, I wish Ilhan Omar was being an intellectual leader on this topic, and not the equivalent of somebody farting in a room to get people to open a window.
But it's only a subject that needs so much effort and nuance to navigate BECAUSE of the bad faith critics. It would have been completely uncontroversial if she had made the exact same comment about the gun lobby, energy, defense, tech, etc. But we have been trained by bad faith actors that any criticism of the pro-Israeli lobby requires a tap dancing act around any number of landmines, and oh by the way, even if you navigate them perfectly you'll still be labelled an anti-Semite because it's not the language they object to - it's the policy.

Mehdi Hasan does a great job here with a thread showing the exact same language, if not more pernicious, being used about Saudi influence, without claims of Islamophobia:

https://twitter.com/mehdirhasan/status/1095006621485465601
 

Jag

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Oct 26, 2017
2,512
How is it not anti-semetic to police the boundaries of Jewishness and imply ALL Jewish people march in lockstep with AIPAC and its attendant ideology? How is it not anti-semetic to erase the huge swaths of liberal-minded Jewish people, that dissent from both AIPAC and the Israeli government's policy agenda, from The Discourse? I mean, am I missing something? Do I have a blind spot? It seems like the mainstream media and D.C. establishment has internalized an inverse form of anti-semetism that shows itself when specious claims of anti-semetism are made.
Don't you get it? Only THEY get to tell the Jews what should be considered upsetting and hateful. Jews don't have the right to tell others that their words not only hurt, but result in violence against them.
 

junomars

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Nov 19, 2018
661
How is it not anti-semetic to police the boundaries of Jewishness and imply ALL Jewish people march in lockstep with AIPAC and its attendant ideology? How is it not anti-semetic to erase the huge swaths of liberal-minded Jewish people, that dissent from both AIPAC and the Israeli government's policy agenda, from The Discourse? I mean, am I missing something? Do I have a blind spot? It seems like the mainstream media and D.C. establishment has internalized an inverse form of anti-semetism that shows itself when specious claims of anti-semetism are made.

Uh where did she ever imply all jewish people are with AIPAC or Israel even for that matter? When has she said anything about jewish people outside of criticizing Israel.

Edit: NVM sorry misread.
 
Oct 27, 2017
129
How is it not anti-semetic to police the boundaries of Jewishness and imply ALL Jewish people march in lockstep with AIPAC and its attendant ideology? How is it not anti-semetic to erase the huge swaths of liberal-minded Jewish people, that dissent from both AIPAC and the Israeli government's policy agenda, from The Discourse? I mean, am I missing something? Do I have a blind spot? It seems like the mainstream media and D.C. establishment has internalized an inverse form of anti-semetism that shows itself when specious claims of anti-semetism are made.
This.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,589
South East Asia
even if you navigate them perfectly you'll still be labelled an anti-Semite because it's not the language they object to - it's the policy.
This is it really. You can wrap your criticism of Israel in the prettiest package possible and you'll still get hit. It's frustrating as hell and it makes me feel like I'm taking crazy pills.
 
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