Black for Palestine offers our unequivocal support to our sister Rep. Ilhan Omar. Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American and the first Black Muslim woman elected to the United States Congress.
Omar has been a long-time critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Israeli government’s ongoing human rights crimes against the Palestinian people. She and Rep. Rashida Tlaib are also the first elected Congress members to openly support the BDS movement.
On Feb 8, Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to take action against Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar, supposedly for their criticisms of Israel and for their pro-BDS stances⎯views which McCarthy suggested were anti-Semitic and “not allowed in this country.”
When Rep. Ilhan Omar suggested in a tweet that AIPAC money was behind Kevin McCarthy’s attack, pro-Israel organizations and writers and Congress members from both parties said her statement was anti-semitic and hateful.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
AIPAC does spend a lot of money lobbying and fundraising for Congress members, and so does the Israeli government directly. Organizations and governments don’t spend money for their health. They do so to gain influence. On Twitter, Omar retweeted a follower who said, “accurately describing how the Israel lobby works is not anti-semitism.”
Lobbyist Spending by Israeli Government and Zionist Organizations
Source: Open Secrets
As a black woman. As a Muslim. As a Somali immigrant and a supporter of Palestine and human rights, there are double and triple standards against Rep. Ilhan Omar.
According to Israel supporters, every criticism of Israel and every passionate cultural reference is an anti-Semitic dog-whistle. By putting Ilhan Omar on the defensive in this way, Israel supporters hope to stop her from boosting a national movement against the Israeli occupation.
But the threat the Israeli government sees in Rep. Omar and so many others is precisely the reason why we must push back even harder.
Just imagine what it would look like for a conscious black immigrant woman to co-lead a popular movement in support of Palestine, as a sitting U.S. Congress member? Israel supporters don’t want to find out what that would look like or what the results of that would be. After all, one of the very clear goals of the BDS movement is to pressure governments to place sanctions on Israel.
We know that Ilhan Omar stands on the side of justice, human rights and against bigotry and anti-Semitism. She is against corruption, occupation, imperialism and genocide. And that’s why Black for Palestine is proud to stand with Ilhan.
#WeStandWithIlhan #AntiIsraeliOccupation #FreePalestine #RightofReturn #NoIsraelLobby