Republicans have been silent in the face of racist attacks against Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, only days after condemning Omar for her criticism of the American relationship with Israel and the Netanyahu government.
What happened: A poster that appeared at a West Virginia GOP event March 1 went viral after being posted on Twitter, showing imagery suggesting Omar is linked to the 9/11 attacks. Most Republicans were silent on the matter, and some even defended the poster: West Virginia State House Delegate Dianna Graves defending the poster, arguing “freedom of speech is something we have to protect.”
Other explicit anti-Islam propaganda at the event included a pamphlet by Fox News contributor Robert Spencer entitled “Readin’, Writin’, and Jihadin’: The Islamization of American Public Schools.”
Instead of denouncing the propaganda, both Republicans and the media have instead focused on Omar’s statements questioning the pro-Israel lobby in Congress. She has been publicly critical of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a leading pro-Israel lobby group.
Omar Fires Back: “Why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the [National Rifle Association], or fossil fuel industries or big pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policy?,”’ Omar said.
Critics have called the statements anti-semitic, while progressive Jewish groups disagreed, saying that it is not necessarily anti-semitic to criticize Israeli government policies or interest groups.