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March 4, 2019 9:02 am

Ilhan Omar Is the Donald Trump of the Left

avatar by Elder of Ziyon

Opinion

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, Feb. 7, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst / Files.

The remarks that Ilhan Omar has made over the past few days — and watching how her fans on social media are responding to them — show that she is the Donald Trump of the left.

She’ll say something that is an obvious antisemitic dog whistle such as starting with how Jews are “hypnotizing the world” and then going on to falsely claim that AIPAC spreads money around to keep Congress in its pocket.

As with Trump, her followers and fans understand her statements for what they really mean. They compliment her on her bravery in taking on these powerful interests. They disparage those who call her out, claiming that she is only noting her displeasure at Netanyahu and the Israeli “occupation” — even though neither of those were even implied in her statements.

And then she takes the ball and runs with it, claiming the same thing: “Being opposed to Netanyahu and the occupation is not the same as being anti-Semitic. I am grateful to the many Jewish allies who have spoken out and said the same.”

But her attacks were on American Jews and American supporters of Israel, not Netanyahu.

See this exchange: “Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! 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!”

Who is demanding that she give allegiance to Israel? No one. But her charge that her opponents do is yet another antisemitic dog whistle. Bret Stephens called her on it, and she responded with a Trumpian tweet, claiming that she didn’t do what she so obviously did, complete with misspellings: “People do every single day, and no I haven’t attached pro-Isreal Americans. I have questioned our politics! You want to paint every word I say as such, and that’s more of your problem.”

And this obvious lie: “I have not said anything about the loyalty of others, but spoke about the loyalty expected of me. There is the difference.”

What exactly does “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country” mean if not an attack on supporters of Israel, with the accusation of dual loyalty?

In one important way, Omar out-Trumps Trump. She uses her color and religion as both a shield and a club — claiming that she knows what discrimination is and therefore cannot be bigoted, and that those people who attack her antisemitic statements are Islamophobic and racist. It is the Trumpian skill of changing the subject, but taken to a new level.

As with Trump, the fires that she sets continue to burn in her wake. As with Trump, her fans run with the bigotry, which now — because it is legitimized by a leader — becomes subject to debate. As with Trump, she claims innocence that her statements could ever be interpreted in a bigoted way. As with Trump, the people who call her out on her bigotry are enemies to be targeted by her fans.

As with Trump, Omar is not stupid; she cannot claim to be ignorant of what her words mean. And as with Trump, Omar using her platform to mainstream hate is wrong and irresponsible, if not downright malicious.

Elder of Ziyon has been blogging about Israel and the Arab world for a really long time now. He also controls the world, but deep down, you already knew that.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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