Representative Ilhan Omar, the Muslim Somali refugee who represents Minnesota’s 5th district, put her hand on a Koran on January 3 and took her oath of office.
Eight weeks later, she faces a move to run a candidate against her in next year’s primary race.
The reason: She won’t shut up about Israel.
Unqualified support for Israel is required to succeed in Democratic Party politics. Omar is trying to change that. The Jewish folks back home are none too happy about it.
Looking for a Candidate
The Hill reported yesterday that Democrats in Minnesota are “aghast” at Omar’s comments about Israel, and “are taking initial steps to recruit a candidate to run against her in next year’s primary election, seeking to buck history in one of the nation’s most progressive legislative districts.”
Why they aren’t “aghast” at their party’s advocating infanticide is anyone’s guess, but at any rate Omar jabbed at American policy vis-à-vis Israel on Twitter, then said, again unwisely, that she didn’t understand why backing Israel was required to be considered a patriotic American.
Among the imprudent remarks the Mogadishu gal unbosomed were “It’s all about the Benjamins.” When a Jewish Democrat complained about the wisecrack, Omar stood firm: “I have not mischaracterized our relationship with Israel, I have questioned it and that has been clear from my end,” she tweeted. “Our democracy is built on debate.... I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that!”
After that imprudent remark, she said this: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” And, she tweeted, “I am told everyday that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks.”
Thus did Democrats push through a resolution ostensibly condemning anti-Semitism, but which, in fact, tied anti-Semitism not to the “anti-Semitic” remarks of their Muslim superstar, who went unmentioned, but instead to “white supremacy.”
But now, Jewish Democrats in the 5th district are rethinking their support for Omar.
A statement from Steve Hunegs, chieftain of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, The Hill reported, said Jews are “exasperated by Rep. Omar’s unfulfilled promises to listen and learn from Jewish constituents while seemingly simultaneously finding another opportunity to make an anti-Semitic remark and insult our community.”
“Omar met with Hunegs last month,” The Hill reported, “after her initial remarks received widespread condemnation. She has continued to meet with Jewish leaders both in Minneapolis and Washington.”
The chin-wag didn’t do much good. Omar continued to mention that which must not be mentioned: U.S. policy vis-à-vis Israel, and the power of the Jewish lobby to enforce orthodoxy on the matter.
Though a top Jewish politician in her district said he would “be pretty uncomfortable supporting Rep. Omar right now, given what I’ve learned about her since the election and given her apparent inability to stop insulting Jews,” replacing her won’t be easy, The Hill reported.
The reasons? For one thing, “several party leaders said they have had discussions about finding a candidate to take on Omar, just two months into her first term in Congress,” the newspaper reported. “But even those who were deeply offended by Omar’s comments about Israel concede they have not yet found anyone to challenge her.”
For another, “no House Democrat from Minnesota has ever lost a bid for renomination, according to University of Minnesota political scientist Eric Ostermeier, author of the Smart Politics blog.”
She “is likely to win the endorsement of the state DFL,” The Hill reported, “which comes with access to voter lists and data that unendorsed candidates do not receive.” The DFL is the Democratic Farm Labor Party.
Beyond all that, voters knew what they were getting when they voted for an angry Islamic refugee. Her leftist district elected her despite credible allegations that she married her brother to perpetrate immigration fraud, and despite her opposing, as a state legislator, a bill to harden penalties for the Islamic practice of female genital mutilation.
As for her insults, Omar also ridiculed the Christian faith of Vice President Mike Pence, but Democrats and Republicans didn’t much care.
Photo: AP Images