AIPAC, Unhinged

Updated: Jun 7

As Representative Omar’s primary nears, she has rather predictably come under attack for what dishonest actors have once again labeled antisemitism. During the Congresswoman’s freshman term, she has endured multiple defamations of this kind, largely from within her own party. Last year, for instance, Representative Engel demanded an apology for what he called a “vile antisemitic slur” after she implied on Twitter the sway AIPAC has over Republican legislators. Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader Schumer, and other party leaders quickly followed suit to dog pile the Congresswoman, eventually commanding the innocuous disciplinary action of a forced vote on a Republican antisemitism bill. Representative Omar has also been under fire for her legitimate suggestion that lobbies successfully secure foreign allegiances. These instances were front page, prime time news, while at the same time, Republican officials circulating islamophobic material linking her to the September 11th terrorist attacks didn’t seem to capture the attention of her colleagues or the media in the same way. The hostile environments of Congress, the Trump administration, and mainstream media have, for Representative Omar (and Rashida Tlaib, the only other Black Muslim woman in Congress), fostered a concerted effort in fabricating opprobrium once again last week as she was accused of antisemitic campaign mailers. The mailers, rightly acknowledging her opponent’s obligations to Wall Street, reference three donors who are Jewish as well as a donor from Scarsdale, a community that is approximately 40% Jewish. These correlations are, at best, coincidences. At worst, the unfounded attacks these mailers fomented are based in racist, sexist, islamophobia. Either way, there is an intellectual dishonesty at their core. July 29, 2020

In a recent article for Mondoweiss by Tom Perkins, the investigative journalist exposed the AIPAC and other pro Israel PACs for funneling approximately $2 million into this year’s primary race against Representative Omar. In 2018, pro Israel groups donated nearly $15 million to campaigns. This is to say nothing of their lobbying efforts once those campaigns were finished. So will the AIPAC and other pro Israel lobbies be successful in unseating Representative Omar? Sources at Slate and The Hill seem to think that she and Representative Tlaib, alike, may be in trouble in their upcoming elections, so perhaps only time will tell. Ultimately, these pro Israel interest groups exploit immense political power and spend massive amounts of money promulgating reductive lies in bad faith. Describing the observations of a journalist who infiltrated such lobbies, Ryan Grim writes in an article for The Intercept, “. . . leaders of the pro-Israel lobby speak openly about how they use money to influence the political process, in ways so blunt that if the comments were made by critics, they’d be charged with anti-Semitism.”