Ilhan Omar on Foreign Policy



Toxic misperception that as a Muslim she hates Jews & Israel

One of the most common misperceptions about my faith is that because I'm a Muslim, I hate Israel and the Jewish people. Although that couldn't be further from reality, whenever I criticize Israel, it is filtered through this lens.

Case in point was my response in 2019 [about] my views on Israel policy. "It's all about the Benjamins baby," I tweeted in a reply, using a Puff Daddy lyric to comment on the power of moneyed influence in our country--in this particular case, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on our foreign policy in Israel.

I immediately started hearing from friends and colleagues who explained the threat as offensive. As soon as I understood the history, I quickly apologized for using what I learned was an age old offensive anti-Semitic trope about Jewish people and their love of money.

I want the ability to be heard and have my full humanity recognized. In return I do everything I can to make sure that is true for others too.

Source: This Is What America Looks Like, by Ilhan Omar, p.245-246 , Jul 27, 2021

Supports two state solution for Israel & Palestine

[On Israel-Palestine]: "My goal in speaking out at all times has been to encourage at all times to move toward a peaceful two state solution."

I asserted that the founding of Israel was "built on the Jewish people's connection to their historical homeland, as well as the urgency of establishing a nation in the wake of the horror of the Holocaust and the centuries of Anti-Semitic oppression leading up to it." But I added, "We must acknowledge that this is also the historical homeland of the Palestinians. And without a state, the Palestinian people live in a permanent refugeehood and displacement." In conclusion, I wrote, "A balanced inclusive approach to the conflict recognizes shared desires for security and freedom of both peoples."

Source: This Is What America Looks Like, by Ilhan Omar, p.246-247 , Jul 27, 2021

Supports boycott/divest/sanction movement against Israel

Q: Do you stand by your call for a boycott of Israel?

OMAR: For many of us in Congress there has been a longstanding support for its two-state solution and this annexation now is going to make sure that that peace process does not happen. And we will not get to a two-state solution. You have to give people the opportunity to seek the kind of justice they want in a peaceful way. And I think the opportunity to boycott divest sanction is the kind of pressure that leads to that peaceful process.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2019 on 2018 Congress MN-5 election , Sep 15, 2019

Anti-Semitism is real; grateful for education on history

Ilhan Omar touched off a controversy when she responded to a tweet by journalist Glenn Greenwald criticizing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, for urging action against Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for allegedly anti-Semitic remarks made earlier. Greenwald accused McCarthy of targeting Omar and Tlaib for their public criticisms of Israel, to which Omar responded, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby," quoting a 1997 song by Puff Daddy. [When asked who was providing such funding], Omar tweeted "AIPAC!" referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Omar "unequivocally" apologized. "Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA, or the fossil fuel industry. It's gone on too long and we must be willing to stop it."

Source: Fox News on 2019 MN-5 House incumbent , Feb 11, 2019

Almost chuckles at notion that Israel is a democracy

Omar is facing backlash after comparing Israel to Iran and said she "almost chuckle[s]" when the Jewish state is described as a democracy. "When I see Israel institute laws that recognize it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it," she said. "And we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East I almost chuckle because I know that if we see that any other society we would criticize it, call it out."
Source: Fox News on 2019 MN-5 House incumbent , Jan 31, 2019

Regrets tweeting "Israel has hypnotized the world"

Omar expressed regret for saying in a 2012 tweet that "Israel has hypnotized the world" while doing "evil," saying she had not realized her words would be offensive to Jewish people. "It's now apparent to me that I spent lots of energy putting my 2012 tweet in context and little energy is disavowing the anti-semitic trope I unknowingly used, which is unfortunate and offensive," Omar wrote.
Source: The Hill e-zine on 2019 MN-5 House incumbent , Jan 22, 2019

Anti-Israel tropes sparked House Resolution & apology

Jason Lewis said on the radio in 2013 that some of his fellow Republicans had "dual loyalties" to the U.S. and Israel, and he attributed political support for the country to what he called "a very strong American Jewish lobby."

Lewis's comments are similar to a comment from Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar last February about Israel's political influence in Washington. Omar, a Democrat, faced widespread condemnation for what critics on both sides of the aisle described as playing on anti-Semitic tropes. Omar apologized, but the controversy prompted a U.S. House resolution condemning bigotry.

Lewis was a longtime Minnesota radio talk show host before 2016. Lewis said his radio job "meant asking rhetorical questions, challenging audiences, playing devil's advocate and seeing both sides of every issue." His campaign manager said Lewis's House voting record showed strong support for the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune on 2018 Congress MN-5 election , Nov 12, 2018

PVS:Don't use military to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Omar opposes the PVS survey question on barring hostile nukes

Project Vote Smart inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'National Security: Should the United States use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a nuclear weapon?' PVS self-description: "The Political Courage Test provides voters with positions on key issues. Historically, candidates have failed to complete our test due to the advice they receive from their advisors and out of fear of negative attack ads."

Source: PVS Survey 18PVS-14 on Aug 1, 2018

Sponsored bill to monitor forced Uyghur labor in Xinjiang.

Omar co-sponsored Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Legislative summary: The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act: