Tag Archives: Ilhan Omar

Reps Tlaib and Omar Should Be Allowed Into Israel

There is nothing like a first hand experience to change hearts and minds. But unless one has that experience, it is unknown if hearts and minds can be changed.

Over the years, Israel has been a regular destination for members of the United States Congress. She has also experienced more than her fair share of criticism, prejudice, lies and half truths.

The latest news regarding Israel is that Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) have been banned from visiting the Jewish state with their colleagues.

The reason, as per the Israeli press is as follows: “Israel has decided. We won’t enable the members of Congress to enter the country,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Kan News. “We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel. In principle, this is a very justified decision.”

This decision, in short, is a huge mistake. While I disagree with both Representatives’s opinion of Israel, I also strongly disagree with this ban.

The ban feels like it was more than the decision of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his cabinet. The invisible hand of you know who also played a role in choosing to ban the Representatives.

I want Representatives Omar and Tlaib to see the Israel that I know and love. My Israel is a beautiful, thriving and vibrant democracy. My Israel is a land that is both ancient and modern. My Israel is a nation in which one can walk in the footsteps of the Bible while experiencing modern technological breakthroughs.

Like any nation, Israel has her fair share of problems. However, she deserves to be seen for what she is without relying on momentary news bites or flashy headlines.

I believe that it would be a wise decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu to lift the ban. But that may not happen and if it is does not, I am concerned that it may negatively impact both the United States and Israel for years to come.

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Thoughts On Reps Tlaib and Omar’s Visit to Israel

There is an old saying: Before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes.

I firmly believe that this saying not only applies to an issue on the personal level, but it also applies to an issue on a political or cultural level.

Israel has been one of the go to countries for American politicians to visit over the years. Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) will be the latest American politicians to visit Israel, in spite of their openly antisemitic and anti-Israel comments.

When it comes these two members of Congress, I have to admit that I have two distinct feelings. I was appalled by you know who’s comments on Twitter last weekend. These women, both as citizens and members of the political class, have every right to speak their minds. However, I was hurt and disgusted by their public statements regarding Israel and the Jews in general.

Israel, like any country is imperfect, both at the government level and the personal level. This country, like all other countries, must face head on the racism that exists within her borders.

That being said, I have been to Israel twice in my life. I saw a country like my own. I saw a multi-cultural country in which most citizens (hopefully) don’t care about the religion or background of their fellow citizen. They just go about their business.

I challenge anyone who believes that Israel is an apartheid state to visit Israel. Ignore, for a short time, what the peanut gallery is saying. Make a decision based on what you are seeing, thinking and feeling.

I am not in the minds of Reps Tlaib or Omar. Nor can I influence what they are thinking or feelings. But I can hope and wish that their visit opens their eyes and convinces them to see the truth about Israel.

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The Following Statement was Made by the President of the United States: “Go Back to Where You Came From”

There are some people in this country who still believe that the United States is a white, Christian nation. According to these people, anyone who does not fit into both of those categories is either ineligible to be an American or is only fit to be labeled as a second class citizen.

Among these people is the President of the United States.

Over the weekend, he tweeted the following statement about four Democratic Congresswomen: go back to where you came from. The targets of this tweet were Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). All four of them are freshman members of Congress and women of color. The incorrect irony of his tweet is that three of the four targeted Congresswomen are natural born American citizens. Ilhan Omar is the only one who was actually born in another country and immigrated as a child. She has been a citizen for nearly twenty years.

The truth of America’s history is that we have always been a multi-cultural nation. Unfortunately, that truth has been hidden to ensure that only a small minority have access to the American dream. Due to decades of hard work and soul searching, we have finally started to open the door to those who have been systematically disenfranchised and make amends for our collective sins.

The question now is, where do we, as a nation go from here? Do we let this racist used car salesman drag us back into the past? Or do we continue to walk the high road and work toward the ideal society that our founding fathers created when they broke from the British over 200 years ago?

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When Did Self Defense Become a Crime?

If you can, imagine the following: you live in a neighborhood where you are hated. At best, you experience verbal slurs and are accused of egregious lies on a daily basis. At worst, your home is attacked and you are afraid of leaving your home as you may not return home in one piece or at all.

This is life in Israel. Over the weekend, approximately 700 rockets were fired at Israeli citizens. Four Israeli citizens were killed in the process.

Of course, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) defended the senseless slaughter of four innocents people and the destruction of property.

Protesting injustice is one thing. We all have the right to protest injustice when we see it. In fact, we should be protesting injustice when it happens.

It’s another thing to teach hate to your children and teach them that killing your neighbor because they are different than you.

I have had the pleasure of visiting Israel twice in my lifetime. I hope to go again at some point in the future. I just hope that I can visit without worrying about if I will return home alive or in a body box.

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Those Who Live in Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones

We all remember where we were on 9/11. Unlike other memories that fade, where were that day and who we were with are forever burnt into our memory.

Last week Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) gave a speech at a CAIR event. It is not a surprise that the right jumped on the speech and a specific phrase in the speech as if it was a piece of meat thrown to a group of famished hyenas.

The phrase, in regards to 9/11 and the rise in anti-Islamic hatred is as follows:

“Some people did something”

There are two issues. The first is that the right and the right leaning media (which unfortunately includes the NY Post, a paper that I have been a loyal reader of for many years) focused on that particular phrase instead of pulling back and getting all of their facts together before reacting.

The second issue is that you know who continues to harp on Representative Omar about her previous antisemitic comments. While I don’t quite think I will ever completely forgive her, the death threats that she and her family are receiving are a symptom of a much bigger issue in this country.

In spite of saying that he is pro-Israel and bears no hatred for people of the Jewish faith, his past tweets say otherwise.

By the way, does anyone else recall that while thousands of innocent people were dying on 9/11, he was bragging that he then owned the tallest building in lower Manhattan? (Starts at 1:50)

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

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What is Good For the Republicans is Good For the Democrats

Hate and prejudice have no place in this country, whether it is on the streets or in the corridors of power.

Instead of censuring Rep Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) earlier today, House Democrats took the easy way out. While they did pass a resolution on antisemitism, it was akin to putting a band-aid over a bullet wound.

When Rep Steve King (R-Iowa) questioned how the term white supremacist could be hateful, he was severely and publicly censured by his party. In contrast, the response by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership to Rep Omar’s comments looks weak.

Rep Omar is entitled to her opinions and to speak out of there is a legitimate humanitarian crisis.  There is a humanitarian crisis in Palestinian territories, but it is not caused by Israel. It is caused by the Palestinian leadership who is more interested in destroying Israel than actually supporting the citizens who call the Palestinian territories home.

 

As a voting bloc, American Jews have voted mostly for Democrats for generations. We have a Presidential election coming up next fall. If the goal of the election is to replace you know who with a qualified member of the Democratic party, I suggest that the Democratic leadership censures Rep Omar now. If they don’t, they may lose the confidence of the voters and help you know to another four years in office.

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Thoughts On Ilhan Omar’s Israel Comments

One of the cornerstones of any legitimate and thriving democracy is the ability to criticize the government without fear of reprisal.

That being said, there is a distinct difference between having the right to openly criticize the government and hate speech.

Representative Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minnesota) comments, in my opinion, can without a doubt be classified as hate speech.

While I agree with her that money from lobbyists urgently needs to be removed from politics, the fact that she once again spread the lies that Israel (aka Jews) are using their money to gain influence is just plain wrong.

Some argue that antisemitism and anti-Israel is one and the same. They are completely different.  Antisemitism is hatred of members of the Jewish faith for no other reason than our religion. It is possible to disagree with the actions of the Israeli government and not be labeled antisemitic. But to criticize the actions of the Israeli government simply because it is Israel is antisemitic.

A real democracy has no place for prejudice or hate. A real democracy respects the diversity of the citizens who call this country home.

Do I accept her apology? I don’t know. But I do know that I am reminded that antisemitism is still very real and very dangerous.

P.S. Am I the only one who is disturbed by you know who’s hypocrisy in demanding that Representative Omar resign?

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