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26 Mar, 2019 17:32

‘Not all about the Benjamins’: Netanyahu throws shade at Omar in AIPAC speech

‘Not all about the Benjamins’: Netanyahu throws shade at Omar in AIPAC speech

Speaking to the audience at AIPAC via satellite, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu jokingly dismissed Ilhan Omar’s criticism of the pro-Israel lobby, provoking the senator to call him out in light of his pending bribery scandal.

From what could actually be made out through the stuttering satellite feed of Netanyahu’s speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), audiences were informed of Israel’s ‘historic right to the occupied Golan Heights’ in spite of UN condemnations, and the inevitable failure of those who want to undermine support from the US. They were also subjected to a cringe-inducing pun.

From this Benjamin, it’s not all about the Benjamins,” he joked, referencing Minnesota Democratic representative Ilhan Omar’s highly controversial tweet from February which described pro-Israel lobbying efforts as being “all about the Benjamins.

Some saw the reference to a Puff Daddy song as invoking an anti-Semitic cliché that Jews have a lot of money and use it to manipulate global affairs.

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“It’s not because they want our money, it’s because they share our values!” Netanyahu told the conference audience.

Promoting these values does, however, seem to come with a hefty price tag, with the organization requiring members to donate thousands of dollars a year toward “pro-Israel politics.

Last year, AIPAC spent $22 million in lobbying and campaign contributions.

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Omar hit back on Twitter shortly after the speech, indicating that the corruption and bribery charges filed against the prime minister tell a different story about his personal commitment to choosing values over cash.

Her words quickly released a deluge of commentary along the same lines of argument that surrounded the original tweet earlier this year, some calling her position anti-Semitic, while others seeing it as justified criticism.

Others let Bibi off the hook on a technicality.

The annual AIPAC conference, held this year in Washington DC, claims to promote Israel-US relations, but has been widely criticized for pushing anti-Muslim and anti-Arab narratives and ignoring war crimes committed by Tel Aviv, leading some politicians to boycott the event.

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