Rep. Ilhan Omar is not an antisemite

Now that a couple of weeks have passed since Representative Omar was sacked from the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House, everyone has expressed their favorable opinions regarding this decision.

But I want to write an opinion from a different point of view. Ilhan Omar’s statements about Israel and the US’ mutually beneficial relationship are not antisemitic. 

In fact, the dismissal of the Minnesota Representative was an act of Islamophobia. 

Yes, Islamophobia, because as soon as Kevin McCarthy took over the speakership, he removed her from the committee on the basis of antisemitic remarks, all the while placing Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene back on a committee. Even Christians United for Israel and the Republican Jewish Coalition condemned her wild antisemitic theories about Jewish space lasers or the conservative fan favorite, the conspiracies about George Soros. 

Unfortunately, in the eyes of the new speaker of the House, she is someone at least less antisemitic than Ilhan Omar, who, for the record, is simply speaking out against the treatment of Palestinians by Israel and the IDF. 

It’s hard to know, especially from all the way here, in Israel, what’s antisemitic and what’s not. This is because many Israelis, because of their Jewish-Israeli-centric upbringing, aren’t able to look at their country with a more critical eye, and so, they equate criticizing Israel with attacking all Jews. 

But Ilhan Omar is not doing that. She merely points out inequality and injustice where she sees it, including in and around Israel, and the United States as well. 

Her criticism of the US is also something she constantly has to defend, as Americans also equate wrong things. In many Americans’ eyes, criticism of the US means she hates America.  

But, in my opinion, partly because she’s an immigrant, she didn’t spend her whole childhood listening to American nationalistic propaganda, so she is able to see the wrongs of her country. And no, that doesn’t mean she ‘hates America’. 

The only way we are able to improve things we love is to see what can be improved.

So yes, we’re at the point where a Muslim woman is speaking out for innocent, powerless people, and that results in her being called an antisemite. 

Representative Omar is the bravest congressperson the United States has. She knows that she automatically has a target on her back – She’s a Muslim immigrant from Africa who wears a hijab – While living in the United States. 

There cannot be someone more hated in the ‘land of the free’. She knows all this and still stands up for what’s right and for people without a voice.

While most US American politicians are not able to formulate sound foreign policy, she is one of the very few not caving to super PACs regarding anything from healthcare, corporate taxes, or education.

She is one of the few that truly supports the working class of her country and doesn’t suck up to the rich. To call her antisemitic, when others like MTG are standing and screaming right there, spreading misinformation is disgusting. To rally against the one trying to help the weak when elected officials are making inflammatory statements and legislating with the intent of hurting marginalized communities makes America what it is. To oppose a marginalized individual helping others in a similar situation is truly American.

Ilhan Omar is not antisemitic, instead, she is the champion of the oppressed.

About the Author
Fred is an 18-year-old writer sharing his many thoughts about American and Israeli politics. He was born in Budapest and since he was 11, he is also an Israeli citizen.
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