Barry Shaw

Why Omar is bad for US Foreign Affairs Committee

After Ilhan Omar was ejected from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the infamous Squad took to the stage with an over-the-top performance of extreme levels of angst rarely seen on the floor of the House in their attempt to turn a legitimate act into racist, feministic, Islamic protest.

Lost in the screaming was the fact that Ilhan Omar is, indeed, an antisemite. Further, by her 9/11 smirky reference that “some people did something” is another reason why she was unworthy to sit on such an internationally influential Committee. Her snide remark was painful to all Americans, certainly to those who lost loved ones on that horrible day. It also led to people questioning her loyalty to her adopted country.

But what was troubling about the pantomime of faux rage expressed by Omar, Tlaib, Pressley, and AOC, was that they were supported by every member of the Democrat Party without exception.

It is indisputable that Omar was and is an antisemite. It is also indisputable that Omar has a passionate dislike of Israel, America’s greatest ally in the Middle East, if not the world.

Therefore, I could not help but compare the Democrat lockstep support for Omar with what happened in Britain when it faced its own antisemitic crisis in the Labour Party.

In the British case, a female Jewish MP, Lucinda Berger, complained about the antisemitism of her leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Labour Party turned against her to the extent that she needed security protection against threats she received from Labour officials and supporters.

What does it take for Democrat politicians to break rank with an antisemite in Congress? In Britain it took the actions of several veteran Labour MPs to courageously rescind their membership and their seats in Parliament and walk away from their lifelong party.

It remains to be seen if any member of the Democrat Party will do the moral and selfless act of either ejecting Omar from the party or walk away from a party that protects not only an antisemite but a person who has hinted that an Islamist cause trumps her patriotism for America.

So where does Omar’s political psyche originate?

I would suggest it is wrapped up in her pre-American past, expressed by her love of family and her identity with her country of origin, Somalia.

Love of family and country, as expressed in her love for her father and political mentor, a father who was a senior officer and official in the Marxist Islamist dictatorship of Siad Barre that brought Somalia to ruin and a civil war which resulted in the Omar’s family having to flee in the middle of the night their luxurious government compound in the middle of the night as opposition fighters were breaking into Mogadishu, just as the senior officers of another dictator fled Berlin as the Russians were breaking into the German capital.

I would suggest that this comparison is far more apt than Omar’s false aspersions against Israel.

Just ask members of the Isaaq tribe in Somalia, who suffered genocide at the bloody hands of the Barre regime in which her father and grandfather served.

In short, everything about Ilhan Omar is a lie. Naïve Jews of Minneapolis, keen to fund the progressive cause of helping a female, non-white, migrant win a place in Congress, funded her initial campaign for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District. Their donations disappeared in 2022, in which she barely won by a whisker.

I wonder why.

She claims to be proud of the country of her childhood, but, in truth, Somalia is still struggling to free itself from the horrors of a dictatorship in which her father and grandfather served.

Under the new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia is struggling to shed itself of its horrible past and its poverty.

Proving that Ilhan Omar is on the wrong side of diplomatic history and, therefore, has no place on the US Foreign Affairs Committee, is the little-known fact that Somalia has been trying to forge ties with Israel even as she attacks the Jewish State with lies and crude antisemitic aspersions at every opportunity.

A Somali diplomat told The Times of Israel newspaper that the new president’s return to power is “a positive development for a potential normalization process between Mogadishu and Israel.”

This Somali diplomat said that Mohamud and three officials met with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu back on 2016 in Tel Aviv.

This record is beginning to show in recent Somali votes at the United Nations.

In March 2019, Somalia abstained on a UN Human Rights Council vote condemning Israel over the occupation of the Golan Heights. It was believed to have been the first time a member state of the Arab League gave up an opportunity to condemn the Jewish state in a major international forum, though they later rescinded their decision about the Golan under enormous pressure from the anti-Israel rejectionists in the United Nations.

Just as Israel is fighting an Islam-based terrorism, the major domestic problem for the current Somali government is the Islamist Al-Shabaab terror organization which emerged after the fall of the Barre regime.

The current government of Hassan Sheikh Muhamud would be greatly helped by both the United States and Israel in fighting to remove this Islamist threat from their country and to assist Somalia trying to rid itself of a past that was promoted among other people by Ilhan Omar’s family.

There is nothing Ilhan Omar is prepared to do to strengthen ties between Somalia and Israel.

This positive aim would be greatly enhanced by the removal of Ilhan Omar from the US Foreign Affair Committee given her woeful personal history.

About the Author
Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism,' '1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel, 'BDS for IDIOTS,' and his latest work 'A Tale of Love and Destiny,' the dramatic life of a Jewish heroine.
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