I am Jewish and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. I strongly disagree that U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar's recent statements were anti-semitic.
I urge everyone to read the full text of her comments. She does not say Jews have a dual loyalty. She is criticizing lobbying groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which pressures congressional representatives to hold an allegiance to a foreign country -- or face electoral consequences. Rep. Omar, D-Minn., also argues AIPAC hasn't been held accountable because of the influence it wields.
The decision of the leadership of the Democratic Party not to support Rep. Omar reflects AIPAC's influence. But progressives in the House, including many of color, pushed back hard on the original resolution framing her as anti-semitic.
I lost family in the Holocaust, so I know the violence of real anti-semitism. For me, social justice has always been a core component of what it means to be Jewish.
Israeli state policies violate Palestinian human rights. Shooting unarmed protesters, expanding settlements, economic blockades and restricting movement based on ethnicity deserve sharp criticism. The heat on Rep. Omar is a misdirection by those who do not want to have the human cost of Israel's policies held up to the light.
Bob Goonin, La Farge