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13 Feb, 2019 10:17

AIPAC launches fundraising campaign on back of Ilhan Omar’s ‘anti-Semitic’ tweets – reports

AIPAC launches fundraising campaign on back of Ilhan Omar’s ‘anti-Semitic’ tweets – reports

Pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC is apparently trying to cash in on the controversy caused by Ilhan Omar’s tweets in which she slammed the overbearing power the Israeli lobby has on US lawmakers. But some say it’s an ill-timed effort.

In a document, said to be a copy of the fundraising email, that has circulated on social media, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) accused Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of perpetuating “old anti-Semitic stereotypes” by suggesting that Washington sides with Israel “only because of Jewish money.”

“Aside from being offensive, divisive and ill-informed, the congresswoman’s assentation are plain wrong,” the letter reads.

Also on rt.com #StandwithIlhan: Social media users defend Ilhan Omar after her forced apology over anti-Semitism

AIPAC stated that it was proud that it enjoys support across the aisles and called on its members to help it bolster “bipartisan efforts in support of the shared values” with a donation of $25, $50, $100 or more, according to Haaretz.

While the lobbying group cannot contribute directly to the campaigns of US politicians, it is said to have spent over $3.5 million in 2018 for various pro-Israeli causes. 

AIPAC, which has received free publicity due to Omar’s controversy, apparently did not hesitate to seize the chance to raise even more funds. However, the quick response was slammed by some as proof of Omar’s point, as well as being poorly timed.

One commenter called the campaign “an uncharacteristically tone deaf move” from the otherwise “media-savvy” AIPAC.

In the initial tweet that sparked the brouhaha, Omar suggested that the Israeli government was ultimately behind the bipartisan ostracism she and another freshman congresswoman, Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib, are facing for their criticism of Israeli policies against Palestinians.

READ MORE: ‘All about the Benjamins’: Ilhan Omar sparks Twitter backlash over ‘anti-Semitic’ post

In another tweet, she directly called out AIPAC, pointing at the lobbying group as the piggy bank behind the Israeli clout on Capitol Hill. 

The remarks drew the wrath of the pro-Israeli lobby and the GOP, and were slammed by her fellow Democrats. Facing mounting pressure from the American political establishment, Omar was eventually forced to apologize.

While she said that she was “grateful” for being educated “on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” she doubled down on her criticism of the lobbying industry, which she said holds sway in US politics.

READ MORE: ‘Sorry, not sorry?’ Ilhan Omar apologizes for ‘anti-Semitic’ tweet, reigniting controversy

While some dismissed her apology as superficial, others expressed support for Omar, flooding Twitter with #StandwithIlhan posts. 

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