To be clear, it can be almost impossible to truly know what’s in someone’s heart: A simple lie or a good bit of PR can easily fool you.
But given enough of even the briefest glimpses, and you can start to piece together something resembling a reasonable estimation of a person’s character.
Given that, it’s hard to blame critics for calling out Democratic Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for an apparently anti-Semitic subtext in recent tweet she posted.
I wonder why? 🤔 https://t.co/fc2wx26oTA
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 9, 2019
Responding to a CNBC report that billionaire investor Leon Cooperman would be supporting billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his likely presidential bid, Omar wrote “I wonder why?” with a thinking face emoji.
As numerous Twitter users pointed out, both Cooperman and Bloomberg are Jewish.
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova called Omar’s comment “wrong.”
This is a wrong thing to say Congresswoman…
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) November 9, 2019
Others called for Omar to elaborate on her comments.
If you do not want this seen as a poorly veiled “Jewish” statement, you need to explain.
— (((dave schechter))) (@daveschechter) November 9, 2019
Some said that Omar was trying to stir up anti-Semitic bigotry.
You don’t at all. You were dog whistling anti-semitism. You sought to stir up Jew hatred.
— Mark Lewis (@MLewisLawyer) November 10, 2019
Omar very carefully making an anti-Semitic tweet with just enough vagueness to claim that ackshually she meant it was about the benjamins and not about religion.
But everyone knows what she meant, which is why she continues to do it. https://t.co/tBuU3eNxX5
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) November 9, 2019
According to the New York Post, Omar’s spokesman Jeremy Slevin said Omar was referring to the fact that both men are billionaires.
That might hold water for the uninformed, and it’s true that Omar has endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (who is also Jewish, but a radical leftist of the “squad” variety).
But to take the statement at face value would ignore much of what the public knows about Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Who can forget the time that Omar shared an anti-Semitic cartoonist’s drawing of Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump “silencing” her?
Oof. Looks like both Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib shared this awful Carlos Latuff cartoon in Instagram stories yesterday. In 2006, Latuff came in second in Iran’s International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, which is a thing that exists, in case you thought the TL couldn’t get any worse. pic.twitter.com/uwyBPAsz7T
— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) August 18, 2019
Perhaps she legitimately didn’t know that the cartoonist had entered, Iran’s International Holocaust Cartoon Contest in 2006 and won second-place.
But then what about the time she seemed to imply that Jewish lawmakers have dual loyalties to Israel and America?
Or what about her general support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement?
Any one of these incidents on its own would be a bad look. Together? It’s hard to blame anyone for accusing her of being anti-Semitic.
At best, Ilhan Omar might just be a victim of exceptionally poor judgment, timing and choice of words.
At worst? Her sharpest critics may very well have a point.
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