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February 13, 2019 8:53 am

Donors Give Money to Support Ilhan Omar’s Antisemitic Remarks — Will She Return Them?

avatar by Steven Emerson

Opinion

Ilhan Omar speaking at a protest against Amazon. Photo: Fibonacci Blue via Flickr.

Maybe Ilhan Omar had a point — it is all about the money.

After the freshman Congresswoman was called out by her own Democratic Party leadership for antisemitic tweets implying Jewish money controls the Congress, her ideological allies took to social media encouraging people to donate to Omar’s 2020 campaign.

Many of them linked to a fundraising page hosted by Act Blue, a self described “nonprofit, building fundraising technology for the left.”

Zahra Billoo, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)’s San Francisco chapter, said that she made a donation to Omar’s reelection campaign on Monday, and urged her followers to do the same. “Tweets to support her are important,” Billoo wrote, “but let’s also ensure she can keep on doing the important work she’s doing.”

Billoo has a well-documented blind hate towards the Jewish state, comparing Israeli soldiers to ISIS terrorists; she also has no qualms saying that Israel has no right to exist. She was joined in her calls by fellow CAIR chapter director and rabid Israel hater Hussam Ayloush, and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee policy director Abed Ayoub, who said that Omar “is speaking the truth.”

This came after Omar issued a statement “unequivocally” apologizing, but without ever specifically acknowledging her statements implying that Jewish money is the reason for US support for Israel. “Anti-Semitism is real,” she wrote, “and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”

Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District is skewed heavily in favor of Democratic voters, so Omar is unlikely to lose her seat anytime soon — absent redistricting that makes it more competitive.

Meanwhile, the Middle East Forum’s Sam Westrop reports that Omar is set to speak on February 23 at a fundraiser for Islamic Relief USA. The group is part of Islamic Relief Worldwide, which allegedly has ties to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Israel and Bangladesh accuse the organization of helping finance radical groups.

Omar will appear with Islamic Relief USA operations manager Yousef Abdallah, who the Middle East Forum found has expressed violently antisemitic ideas on his social-media accounts.

Responding to then-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s 2014 apology for describing the “occupied” West Bank and Gaza Strip, Abdallah wrote: “Christie kneels down on his knees before the Jewish lords and says ‘I am sorry.’ Only money makes stuff like this happen, Mr. Christie. Muslims should remember this very well.”

If her apology is sincere, Omar should reconsider appearing with Abdallah. And she should refund donations motivated by what her own party’s leaders admit was clear antisemitism.

Steven Emerson is the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, a non-profit organization that serves as one of the world’s largest storehouses of archival data and intelligence on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups.

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