Dear Rep. Ilhan Omar, Do Not Gaslight Us Jews

Dear Rep. Ilhan Omar,

I’ll start off this message to you with an unequivocal condemnation of any threats to your life or calls to assassinate you, as you have claim to have experienced. This is simply not on, and any reasonable person would join me in finding this utterly reprehensible.

I am sure that includes 99% of people, including your political opponents.

Having said that, this does not exonerate you from your repeated vile, antisemitic comments, nor your reluctant apology, followed by more antisemitic comments and gaslighting of those of us who call you out on them.

To be very clear, you were not accused of antisemitism just because you oppose Israel. While I believe your fixation on Israel is wrong and points to something else, merely criticizing Israel would not have elicited the reactions you have experienced.

You have been heavily criticized (and, may I add, at the same time applauded by others like Linda Sarsour) for actual antisemitic comments. I will address each one individually, even though you flushed almost all of them down the memory hole.

Exhibit A:

While you were careful to use the word “Israel” instead of “the Jews”, this was clearly repeating the antisemitic trope that the Jews somehow have power over the world. This is Protocols of the Elders of Ziyon level sh*t, and you expressed regret over them.

Exhibit B: Suggesting Jews are Islamophobic

Besides the fact that this is not true – Israel’s Nation State law does not infringe on the individual rights of any Israeli citizen, including Muslims – your aggravation over Israel having Judaism as its official religion is troubling. Especially since you never spoken out against the other 42 countries with state religions: 27 with Islam, 13 with Christianity, and 2 with Buddhism. Or the Palestinian Basic Law, which declares Islam as the official religion of “Palestine.”

When combined with your first “faux pas”, how should we feel?

Exhibit C: The Benjamin’s baby!

You chose to fixate on the Jewish Zionist lobby – the fact the name Benjamin is a Jewish surname and the first name of the Israel PM was an unfortunate coincidence, I assume.

And your apology was anything but. Even voracious Israel critics admit you were way off base: AIPAC is not successful because of the “Benjamins.” It is successful because a majority of voters want to support Israel.

Yet you did not stop there.

Exhibit D:

You couldn’t help yourself and leave the “apology” as is. You doubled down. You blamed the Jews for being “Islamophobic”, even though there are at least as many non-Jewish critics of your antisemitic statements as Jewish ones. And you haven’t quit while you are behind:

Exhibit E:

There’s that dual loyalty canard again.

Do not make this about not being “pro-Israel” – that is not the issue and you know it. The issue is your comments are antisemitic or invoke the vilest of antisemitic tropes. And AIPAC is not pro-Netanyahu at all. So spare us the gaslighting.

I recommend you focus on your own community, where Jew hatred really is a thing. And feel free to call me Islamophobic for suggesting so, because that’s how you roll.

But never insult our intelligence.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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