‘Sorry, not sorry?’ Ilhan Omar apologizes for ‘anti-Semitic’ tweet, reigniting controversy
Freshman Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been forced to apologize by senior House Democrats for a series of “anti-Semitic” tweets – but her apology has set off another round of hysteria for not being apologetic enough.
In a post captioned “listening and learning, but standing strong,” the Muslim representative thanked her “Jewish allies and colleagues” for “educating” her about “anti-Semitic tropes,” while reiterating her original point about the “problematic role” of lobbyists like AIPAC.
Listening and learning, but standing strong 💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/7TSroSf8h1— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Both detractors and supporters immediately pounced on her ‘apology’ as proof that whatever they’d said before was right. Some were outraged that Omar was not groveling enough…
Fool me once, shame on you.Fool me twice? No thanks.Sorry @IlhanMN, no one accepts your ‘apology’. You knew exactly what you were saying. As you did each of the previous times you expressed your vile bigotry & Antisemitism.Shame on you! You are an embarrassment to Congress!— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) February 11, 2019
You apologized in paragraph 1 and then Reaffirmed your believes in paragraph 2 of what you apologized for in paragraph 1.— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) February 11, 2019
When “maturity and grace״ means: spewing antisemitic tropes, after admitting previous antisemitic tropes tweets you posted were based on ignorance, and being forced to apologize by your colleagues. pic.twitter.com/YAduFAN5FY— Rebecca (is trying to breathe) 🍀 🏀 (@dorothyofisrael) February 11, 2019
…while others saw Omar being smeared by a near-omnipotent lobby pulling the strings of the Capitol.
It’s good that @IlhanMN is still calling attention to AIPAC, but this apology is the result of a racist, bullying campaign that exploits and cheapens anti-semitism to stifle dissent. No amount of apologizing will satisfy the smear artists who targeted her. https://t.co/ySoHnWLW09— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) February 11, 2019
It’s too bad @IlhanMN apologized for saying nothing wrong, but undoubtedly the pressure was unbearable. At least she is still demanding we discuss the nefarious role of @AIPAC. But trying to appease this thuggish lobby doesn’t work. They only demand more. https://t.co/ZRgJx81EhC— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) February 11, 2019
What's being doing to @IlhanMN is disgusting. Shame on those in Democratic leadership who are finding common cause with racists and actual anti-semites to smear her. And shame on her supposed allies in Congress who are too afraid of the Israel lobby to come to her defense.— Sam Sacks (@SamSacks) February 11, 2019
Still others pointed out that attacking Omar was only feeding the same “anti-Semitic tropes” her detractors accused Omar of feeding.
Criticizing AIPAC & Zionism IS NOT antisemitism. The fact that anyone who dares utter the slightest rebuke of either is automatically smeared as an anti-Semite is an Orwellian form of censorship & only feeds into the stereotypes extremists have of Jewish people. https://t.co/J8kvfDPP2h— Teodrose Fikre ✒ (@TeodroseFikre) February 11, 2019
Implying that AIPAC = Judaism is anti-Semitic Implying that AIPAC = Judaism is anti-SemiticImplying that AIPAC = Judaism is anti-SemiticImplying that AIPAC = Judaism is anti-SemiticImplying that AIPAC = Judaism is anti-SemiticImplying that AIPAC = Judaism is anti-Semitic— Dr. Colonel Esq. (@ReploidColonel) February 11, 2019
While those accusing Omar of anti-Semitism as often as not found themselves arguing with Jews speaking up for the congresswoman.
I'm jewish. Nothing she said was even vaguely anti semitic and I'm baffled this is even a controversy.Pointing out how our political support for Isreal is influenced by private interests and is hypocritical isn't any more antisemtic then criticizing Saudi Arabia is anti-islamic— JabberwockXeno (MajoraZ) (@Jabberwockxeno) February 11, 2019
House Democratic leadership released a statement condemning Omar’s remarks on Monday afternoon, slamming the Minnesota rep’s “deeply offensive” and “prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters” while demanding she “immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”
DEM LEADERSHIP WEIGHS IN ON OMAR pic.twitter.com/ravQQCQKea— Sam Stein (@samstein) February 11, 2019
A few couldn’t help but notice that the Democrats’ willingness to castigate one of their own in order to defend big-ticket lobbyists kind of proved Omar’s point...
The Dem Leadership of @SpeakerPelosi and Co would rather throw another member under the bus than offend their precious donors. This is how Dems perpetuate a system of political failure.— surly_dave (@mytasting_spoon) February 11, 2019
@IlhanMN This united condemnation by democratic leadership simply proves her point. Both parties are under the heavy influence of Israel lobby and money is big part of it. Anyone unaware of this fact was born yesterday— Zaigham A Kazmi (@kzaigha) February 11, 2019
…or at the very least raised more questions than it answered...
So, calling out political groups for being influenced by money is now hate speech? Isn't that the whole platform of many many democratic representatives? The same thing is being said about Saudi Arabia and it is not Islamophobic so how is this anti-antisemitism?— Mehrdad (@MehrdadKazemtab) February 11, 2019
That's a really neat catch-22. You can't denounce Israel-friendly lobbyists using vast sums of $$$ to sway Congress to ignore human-rights abuses because anti-semites used references to $$$ once to attack Jewish bankers for being greedy? Does that pretty much cover it?— Mike Evans (@Neuroglyph) February 11, 2019
(such as, do Pelosi’s donors have something to do with this?)
Pro-Israel groups are among the top donors of Pelosi throughout her entire career, shelling out $514,449 in total to this one congresswoman.— Daniel. 🦇 (@dcfosterr) February 11, 2019
@SpeakerPelosi@dccc Retract this garbage or I am leaving the party. This is a cynical weaponization of anti-semitism for the sake of returning favors to your donors, such as @haimsaban. We will not accept this. @jeremycorbyn and @SenSanders represent the many, not the few.— Josh Hildom (@JHildom) February 11, 2019
They literally admitted it themselves https://t.co/Jd98VWlLN2— Ibrahim Ali🐊 (@__ibrahimali) February 11, 2019