Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Americans Can Criticise America. But not Israel.

It is official.  Criticism of Israel is anti Semitism and recognizing the power of Aipac invites retribution.
Ilhan Omar, a Democratic Congresswoman from Minnesota first created a stir by refusing to delete her 2012 tweet that “Israel has hypnotized the world.” Her original tweet was in response to Israel’s eight-day bombing of Gaza, the so-called  Operation Pillar of Defense.  The IDF claimed that it had “as usual…made great efforts to reduce the number of civilian casualties and amount of collateral damage.” The families of the167 Palestinians killed in the bombing were no doubt reassured by these words.
Ms Omar recently apologized for her choice of words, but added,
“what is really important to me is that people recognize that there is a difference between criticizing a military action by a government that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attacking to particular people of faithI say the same things, if not worse, when it comes to the Saudi government. I’ve called for boycotts of Hajj, and boycotts of Saudi Arabia, …when you see oppression taking place …when you see our values being attacked as humans, you must stand up, and it doesn’t matter who the inhabiters of that particular region might be.””
This humanitarian statement was evidently too much for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who threatened punishment for Ms Omar and for Rashida Tlaib, Muslim representative from Michigan.  Mr. McCarthy was surely not influenced by the fact that uber Zionist Sheldon Adelson is currently the Republican’s largest donor. And, of course, McCarthy was joined by a chorus of outraged congressmen.
Glenn Greenwald tweeted in response,
“GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”
Omar replied to Greenwald, quoting a 1997 rap song by Puff Daddy “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” Apparently no one at Politico is familiar with Puff Daddy, and hysterically interpreted the music emoji Omar attached as a suggestion “that money was calling the tune for McCarthy.”
Batya Ungar-Sargon, opinion editor of the formerly leftwing news outlet, The Forward, asked  Omar: “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.” Omar replied with what everyone knows. “AIPAC.”
Presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton chimed in, tweeting,
“We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.”
Omar’s reply was more well reasoned and polite than Clinton’s words merited.
“We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith. I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you.”
And of course, the liberal. First the need to explain that they are on the correct side before taking the wrong side. Joshua Zeitz, liberal historian and contributing editor at Politico,  wrote that he is “one of those American Jews who opposes the occupation, laments Israel’s anti-democratic drift, and doesn’t regard the country as especially central to my Jewish identity.” The tweet then condemns Omar, “She might as well call us hooked-nosed.”
Oh, so noting the money that Israel and its supporters pour money into the political system is the same as physical stereotyping? Really?
Update. Following condemnation from party boss, Nancy Pelosi, Ms Omar has “unequivocally apologize[d]” for telling the truth. 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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