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Muslim Congresswoman Accuses Jews of Bribing American Lawmakers, Sparks Bipartisan Outrage

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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is facing backlash from all sides of the political spectrum after suggesting that American leaders only support Israel because Jews pay them to.

Omar's remarks were in response to a tweet by journalist Glenn Greenwald criticizing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-A) for threatening to "take action" against Omar and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) over their previous allegedly anti-Semitic statements.

Greenwald accused McCarthy of unjustly attacking the freshmen Muslim congresswomen, to which Omar replied, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby."

"Benjamins" refers to one-hundred dollar bills. 

Omar's response went viral and many accused her of promoting the anti-Semitic trope that Jews conspire to control government leaders by throwing loads of cash at them.

Forward magazine opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon was one of the first to take aim at Omar.

"Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess," Ungar-Sargon tweeted. "Bad form, Congresswoman. That's the second anti-Semitic trope you've tweeted."

The first anti-Semitic trope Ungar-Sargon referred to was when Omar said in 2012 that "Israel has hypnotized the world.

Omar doubled down on her notion that Jews pay lawmakers to be pro-Israel and tweeted that "AIPAC" is an example.

Omar then retweeted Politico magazine editor Joshua Zeitzthat's tweet stating that she "might as well call [American Jews]  hook-nosed."

"I'm one of those American Jews who opposes the occupation, laments Israel's anti-democratic drift, and doesn't regard the country as especially central to my Jewish identity," he said. "And I know exactly what the congresswoman meant. She might as well call us hook-nosed."

Omar promptly deleted that "hook-nosed" retweet when even more people accused her of being an anti-Semite.

"I'd just like to point out that AIPAC takes absolutely no money from the Israeli government. So she's quite literally referring to Jews and pro-Israel advocates. This is anti-Semitic," Daily Wire journalist Kassy Dillon wrote.

New York Democratic congressman Max Rose also chimed in.

"When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes and words against people of any faith, I will not be silent. Congresswoman Omar's statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself. Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive enough. But to go a step further and retweet someone declaring their pain at her sentiment is simply unacceptable."

"At a time when anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, our leaders should not be invoking hurtful stereotypes and caricatures of Jewish people to dismiss those who support Israel. In the Democratic Party - and in the United States of America - we celebrate the diversity of our people, and the Gods we pray to as a strength. The Congresswoman's statements do not live up to that do not live up to that cherished ideal," Rose said. 

StandWithUs Executive Director Michael Dickson also called Omar out.

"First @IlhanMN said that Jews hypnotize everyone into getting their way. Now she says they pay those in power to get their way. If you'd like to follow along with Ilhan's Big Book of Antisemitic Stereotypes, she's about to turn over to page 3. #Antisemitism," he said.

Even Chelsea Clinton accused Omar of anti-Semitism.

"We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism," she said.

Omar quickly responded and responded that Republicans were victimizing her over her remarks about Jews.

"Chelsea - I would be happy to talk," Omar tweeted. "We must call out smears from the GOP and their allies. And I believe we can do that without criticizing people for their faith. I look forward to building an inclusive movement for justice with you."

Clinton vowed to calll Omar's office on Monday to discuss the issue with her further.

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About The Author


Emily Jones is a multi-media journalist for CBN News in Jerusalem. Before she moved to the Middle East in 2019, she spent years regularly traveling to the region to study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meet with government officials, and raise awareness about Christian persecution. During her college years, Emily served as president of Regent University's Christians United for Israel chapter and spoke alongside world leaders at numerous conferences and events. She is an active member of the Philos Project, an organization that seeks to promote positive Christian engagement with the Middle