When it comes to aspiring terrorists, Rep. Ilhan Omar can be sympathetic. In 2016 she sought leniency for one of nine men who attempted join to ISIS, asking that he be treated with “compassion” since “systematic alienation” and “perceived injustice” caused him to embrace ISIS’s “radical approach to change-making.” Omar has also dismissed condemning Al-Qaeda and Hamas as “a waste of time”:
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) explodes at an audience member who asked her if she could condemn female genital mutilation— Molly Prince (@mollyfprince) July 23, 2019
Omar responds by saying the question is "appalling" and she is "disgusted" to be asked if she condemns "al-Qaeda," "FGM," and "Hamas," saying it's a "waste" of time pic.twitter.com/9Ipl55wig9
However, there’s another group that she doesn’t have as much sympathy for: Jews.
Jews have long been stereotyped as greedy manipulators, and it’s an image Omar is happy to perpetuate. She’s accused Israel of having “hypnotized the world” and claimed that America’s pro-Israeli stance is “all about the Benjamins.” While such remarks have been condemned by conservatives, they won her praise from David Duke and Louis Farrakhan. And far from toning down her rhetoric, she’s dialed it up.
Last week, the Minnesota Democrat tabled a resolution on boycotting Israel. While speaking in its support, Omar likened anti-Israel boycotts to the Boston Tea Party and the civil rights movement. But her resolution went further: it also drew a parallel with “boycotting Nazi Germany from March 1933 to October 1941 in response to the dehumanization of the Jewish people in the lead up to the Holocaust.”
The juxtaposition is absurd, and it's arguably a form of Holocaust denial. Because if Israelis are comparable to the Nazis, then the Nazis couldn't have been that bad.
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When Israel took over the West Bank in 1967, its residents had a life expectancy of just 49 years. After half a century of Israeli occupation, the number had risen to 75 years. In 2017, their infant mortality rate was 18 per one thousand live births; according to the World Bank, the Arab world's average stood at 28. When it takes action, Israel's military seeks to limit civilian casualties (its enemies seek to maximize them). And whereas Jews desperately tried to escape Germany, Israel has to build walls to keep Palestinians out. A genocide this isn't.
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Neither is it the Jim Crow South. Israel's Arab citizens are free to vote, hold public office, and serve in the military. Arab Christians outperform Jews academically while being over represented at the nation's top schools. Bigotry and discrimination certainly exist, but Israeli Arabs still enjoy more freedom than they would anywhere else in the Middle East.
Like any country, Israel has flaws and deserves criticism. However, to draw connection with Nazi Germany is simply ridiculous. One of Omar's co-sponsors was Rep. Rashida Tlaib, someone who wrote articles for the Nation of Islam and followed an Instagram account that portrayed Jews as rats. Given this and Omar's own history, it's hard to believe that her resolution's wording was the result of ignorance. So what did it stem from?
What do you think? Leave a comment below.