Ilhan Omar’s Immoral Myopia

Two days after Ilhan Omar won reelection this November, she tweeted an insidious accusation to further harm Israel, a country that is one tenth the size of her state of Minnesota.

Her latest lie against the Middle East’s only democracy is that it is conducting ethnic cleansing.

In actuality, the Jerusalem Post reported, “The Israeli government had removed seven tents and eight animal pens which were illegally constructed in an area that was declared an IDF live-fire range in 1972   . . . The legally mandated demolition displaced 73 Bedouins,” according to COGAT, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

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Under Government Resolution 2397, Israel has been investing millions of dollars in Bedouin education, technology, human services and sustainable residential infrastructure to safely settle the nomadic tribes in an effort to improve living conditions – which is quite the opposite of “ethnic cleansing.” Omar had nothing to say about that, nor how Israel has also been investing millions of dollars to give Bedouins access to the Internet.

Sure, there is room for debate as to the best way the government could handle the clash of interest between the Bedouins maintaining a traditional lifestyle and the Israelis protecting a nation (which includes the Bedouins) from continuous Islamic threats. But, to accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing for dismantling tents when they built stable infrastructure for the Bedouins to live in instead, is a dangerous lie. Anyone who cares about protecting people, and the values of decency and honesty, should condemn Omar for spreading it.

Omar, who is so obsessed with Israel that she initiated policy geared to transforming the world’s only Jewish state into the world’s 57th Islamic state, didn’t criticize Israel for dismantling thirteen illegally built structures in June, when border police forced distraught residents out of their homes. How curious. Could it be because those victims were Jewish? When Israel enforces building codes on Jews, Omar is silent. When Israel enforces building codes on non-Jews, she exclaims, “ethnic cleansing.”

It’s not as if Omar expresses outrage regularly by genuine and horrific human rights violations. For example, she had nothing to say when Somali forces, from her land of origin, destroyed 23 camps, rendering thousands of people homeless in harsh conditions, one year into her first term in office.

Moulid Hujale of the Guardian reported that witnesses said that the Somali police and military beat up anyone who resisted or questioned them:

One victim said, “It was a nightmare. At least my children are alive. I saw a mother who lost her eight-month-old child because of hunger and heat. They were literally sleeping under the sun in the open air.”

People said they woke up to bulldozers and soldiers demolishing their shelters. “We were not even given time to collect our belongings . . . People were screaming and running in all directions.”

“ . . . the destruction included health and sanitary facilities, schools, latrines and water points . . .”

Why does Omar have not one negative word for the Somali government who violently stripped 50 times that amount of people from their shelter, leaving no alternative?

For a politician so concerned with foreign policy, why does Omar refrain from tweeting words of empathy for the victims of Islamists (specifically Boko Haram and Faluni Tribesman), who’ve been committing a genocide against Nigerians that took the lives of over 1,000 Christians last year (2019) and more the year before, and more still? Why does she not have words of condemnation toward radicalized Muslims who slaughtered university students in Afghanistan this month, or who committed genocide against the Yazidi people over years? Why no word regarding the Islamic terror that recently shook France and Austria? And why no words of empathy for the victims of Muslim extremists who beheaded over 50 men and boys and abducted the women and children in a village in Mozambique last weekend? Will those survivors not be, in her words, “ . . . likely experience lifelong trauma?”

There is a pattern. The congresswoman downplays the Islamic violence that threatens the people of Israel, the same Islamic violence that has wreaked havoc in France, Nigeria, Mozambique, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Spain, the United States, etc. And she downplays the tremendous good that Israel contributes to the world. Why never a positive word for Israel, a country that generously shares agricultural technology, surgically repairs the hearts of ill children globally (including healing Palestinian children) and is often among the first to offer help to others in times of crisis?

Omar’s hateful actions toward Israel are more alarming when paired with her other views. She recently retweeted support for Cori Bush’s dangerous suggestion, to defund the Pentagon – the literal and symbolic building of the United States Department of Defense – a building that houses the offices of people who protect the country that she was elected to serve. The Pentagon has kept its shape in a testament to surviving the horrific Islamic attack intended to destroy it, the same coordinated attack that killed thousands of people in New York City when “some people did some thing.”

Whether Omar distorts facts with nefarious intentions or simply as a result of immoral myopia, one has to wonder why she seeks to discredit and weaken Israel, America’s only democratic and stable ally in an otherwise tumultuous Middle East, while ignoring numerous Islamic inspired massacres, while pushing to defund the primary institution created to keep Americans safe.

Faith Quintero is the author of Loaded Blessings, a family saga that alternates between Inquisition era Spain and modern-day Israel. It’s among the Federalist’s top books of 2019 list and a Montaigne Medal finalist for the Eric Hoffer awards. The Montaigne Medal is an additional distinction, awarded to “the most thought-provoking books.”


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