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February 17, 2019 8:39 am

Ilhan Omar Is Funded by Israel-Hating BDS Promoters and PACs

avatar by Morton A. Klein and Liz Berney / JNS.org

Opinion

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

JNS.org – Israel-hating Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has repeatedly displayed deep-seated, dangerous antisemitism and hatred towards the Jewish state.

Rep. Omar falsely called Israel “evil” and an “apartheid regime.” She promotes anti-Israel boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) — the delegitimization and economic destruction of Israel — and lied to voters about her BDS position while running for Congress. She has never apologized for any of this.

The Democratic House leadership’s recent condemnations of Rep. Omar are an important first step, but they are not enough, especially because she immediately backtracked on her phony “non-apologies” by again defaming Jews and Israel.

From the outset, the Zionist Organization of America urged that Omar be removed from the House Foreign Relations Committee, which is a position that enables her to harm US-Israel relations and mainstream her virulent antisemitism. We are thankful that this week, Donald Trump called for Rep. Omar’s ouster from the committee, at a minimum.

Rep. Omar’s most recent antisemitic tweets — that a Jewish lobby organization (AIPAC) and money cause Congress to support Israel — are woefully wrong. Congress supports Israel because the American people, Jewish and non-Jewish, support Israel; it’s the moral thing to do, and both nations share democratic values and strategic interests.

Omar’s antisemitic “Jewish money” tweets prompted us to examine her own funders. ZOA’s analysis of her Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings found that her financial supporters include a veritable “Who’s Who” of anti-Israel propagandists and haters and anti-Israel PACs. For instance:

  • BDS leader Hatem Bazian, who founded the virulent and sometimes violent anti-Israel organizations Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), gave Rep. Omar three contributions. Bazian’s agenda is Israel’s destruction. He is a leader of the anti-Israel boycott movement on college campuses and throughout the world, has called for an “intifada” in the United States, and persistently spreads classic antisemitic falsehoods against Israel.
  • CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) is one of Rep. Omar’s top 20 contributors. CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial for funneling money to Hamas. FBI testimony reportedly indicated that CAIR has been a Hamas front group.
  • In addition, CAIR-CA’s executive director Hussam Ayloush, who called for Israel’s “termination,” gave Ilhan Omar $1,200.
  • James Zogby, president of the anti-Israel Arab-American Institute (AAI), chairman of the anti-Israel Palestine Human Rights Campaign, and a major anti-Israel propagandist, gave Rep. Omar $2,700. Zogby falsely accused Israel of committing a “Holocaust” against Palestinians, called Israelis “Nazis,” campaigned to prevent the extradition to Israel of a Fatah terrorist who killed two Israeli teenagers and wounded 36 other Israelis, called Cuban-American Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen an “Israel-firster” (an antisemitic trope implying dual loyalty), praised the intifada as a “good story,” and was a leading architect of propaganda themes used to pry progressive Jews away from supporting Israel.
  • The Soros-funded MoveOn.org, which attempted to kill the pro-Israel anti-BDS bill in Congress, gave Omar $5,000. MoveOn.org also co-founded Avaaz, which initiates extremely offensive, falsehood-filled anti-Israel campaigns, including movements to release Palestinian Arab terrorist Ahed Tamimi and in support of Ireland’s dangerous BDS Bill.
  • A $500 donor to Rep. Omar showed his wife wearing Hamas scarves and put on his Facebook profile in Arabic: “Jerusalem is ours, WE ARE COMING!”
  • Debbie (Dhabah) Almontaser, who defended an Arab women’s group for hawking “Intifada NYC” T-shirts that glorify Palestinian-Arab terror, gave Omar $500.

Rep. Omar’s most recent non-apology added: “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.” Hypocritically, however, Omar accepted oil money from Beowulf Energy’s principal Nazar Khan ($2,000), Giant Oil president Basem Ali ($2,000), and an ExxonMobil specialist.

She also hypocritically accepted approximately $190,000 of PAC money.

Disappointingly, “Nancy Pelosi for Congress,” previously gave Rep. Omar $2,000. Now that Rep. Omar has repeatedly displayed her deep-seated antisemitism, Speaker Pelosi has condemned her comments, saying “Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.” We hope Speaker Pelosi will discontinue financially supporting Rep. Omar and immediately remove her from the House Foreign Relations Committee.

Rep. Omar must be isolated, defunded, and removed from positions where she can carry out the extremist anti-Israel, anti-American agenda of those who are backing her financially.

Morton A. Klein is the national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Elizabeth A. Berney is the ZOA Director of Special Projects.

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