You’ve probably sorted through plenty of year-end lists by now, it being January. StopAntisemitism.org, an anti-hate group that “expos[es] antisemitism from the radical left, the religious extreme, and the alt-right” was a little late to the party with its “Antisemite of the Year” award, only announcing it Monday.
This is a surprise, considering that it seems like it should have been a lock from the get-go. And yet, even at that, it got plenty of pushback on social media.
In what was no doubt the anticlimax of the year, the group’s anti-Semite of the year is indeed Rep. Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota. Omar only took office in January of last year but had an impressive rookie season with “the squad.”
Here’s a greatest hits video assembled by the folks at StopAntisemitism.org:
Mazal Tov to #IlhanOmar on being named 2019’s Antisemite of the Year! Thousands voted & the Freshmen Congresswoman came out on top as the most vile Jew hater!
— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) January 6, 2020
To be fair, one of the incidents that contributed to her award in 2019 was a tweet from 2012 in which she accused Israel of having “hypnotized the world.” However, it’s not as if she handled the reemergence of the tweet very well, and it managed to presage a string of scarcely concealed dog whistles throughout the year.
These included claiming that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee had bought loyalty to Israel from Washington legislators. Just so we were clear on what she was talking about, she decided to take us back to the 1990s by saying that it was “all about the Benjamins baby.”
It somehow seemed apropos she was referencing a truly awful Puff Daddy song about stacking those $100s bills to drive home her truly awful point about Jewish money buying loyalty.
Even after all this, she didn’t get too much of a chastising from Democratic leadership. It wasn’t until she accused Jewish Americans of dual loyalties — just weeks after this hot mess, she told an audience in Washington that “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country” — that her party got around to wagging a very flaccid finger in her face.
How flaccid? Consider that the resolution to tacitly condemn her was watered down to the point where it became a meaningless condemnation of all types of hatred, thus making it meaningless. And, even though she’d hit every bumper on the Jewish stereotype pinball field, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that Omar’s actions weren’t “intentionally anti-Semitic.”
PELOSI just told us she did not think @IlhanMN’s comments were “intentionally anti Semitic”
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) March 6, 2019
Apparently, Pelosi thought Omar had somehow come upon all of these tired anti-Jewish tropes entirely by accident. However, one individual who thought this wasn’t exactly felicity in reverse was David Duke. Duke — the prolific bigot, former KKK third-degree super wizard (or whatever) and serially failed political candidate — lent his support to Omar in the wake of the controversy:
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 7, 2019
Black Muslim dares to expose the Zionist buying of Congress. Jewish leaders demand resolution to condemn her and then transform it to a pro-Muslim and pro-Jewish vicious hate speech against White people.https://t.co/wE8gNlVMmu
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 8, 2019
Isn’t that nice: Duke has finally found an African-American liberal he can support.
In the wake of the rebuke, Omar seemed to suddenly, magically learn exactly what you couldn’t say publicly about Jewish people and, for the most part, didn’t say it for the rest of the year. That said, she still managed to get herself embroiled in controversy over her support for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, which aims to treat Israel as if it were an apartheid state on par with South Africa.
After Omar’s spat with President Donald Trump over his controversial tweet about members of “the squad” — a spat that engendered no small amount of sympathy for her, it must be noted — she decided her next move would be legislation which compared the BDS movement to boycotts against the aforementioned South Africa, the USSR and (sigh) Nazi Germany.
In what was a common theme for calendar year 2019, no one in party leadership could apparently convince Omar that this was a poor use of political capital. The best that could be said about the anti-hate resolution was that it died with a whimper, not a bang.
Yet, the folks voting for the award certainly remembered it, as did the folks at StopAntisemitism.org. Omar fanboys didn’t exactly remember it, or chose, as they so conveniently do, to deliberately forget it:
This is profoundly stupid and irresponsible.
— jonathan zwickel (@zwickelicious) January 6, 2020
We love @Ilhan Stay strong, Ilhan, and don’t pay attention to the bullies and thugs. They’re panicked because history is passing them by. @DNC @HouseDemocrats are rejecting Zionism and racism. Hang in there! You are grace under fire.
— Milo Somers (@milo_somers) January 6, 2020
congrats to Ilhan Omar on winning “Muslim woman whose existence we most had to acknowledge” of 2019
— Sam Adler-Bell (@SamAdlerBell) January 7, 2020
Yes, she got our attention and she’s Muslim. Congratulations on that, I guess. I don’t particularly see how those are related to the “award,” but I’m sure it sounded good being typed into the Twitter input box.
Omar’s 2020 will no doubt be an eventful one, leaving her with plenty of opportunities to “win” the prize again this year.
The Minnesota Democrat has become a surrogate for Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail, something her supporters on the Twitter thread unsurprisingly tried to use to negate any charge of anti-Semitic rhetoric on Omar’s part, given that Sanders is Jewish.
It’s as if supporting one Jewish man whose policy positions align with hers suddenly erases everything she’s said in the past. One wonders if these individuals feel the same way about David Duke.
While Omar hasn’t publicly said anything rebarbative about Jewish people of late, that doesn’t mean she’s settled into respectability or anything resembling it.
Her latest controversy, in the wake of the strike which killed Iranian terrorist and military figure Qassem Soleimani, was tweeting an obscenity-riddled George Carlin clip in which he said the United States was “not very good at anything else” aside from making war.
The year’s still young, however, and there are plenty of tweets to come. For my money, she’s still the odds-on favorite to repeat as the winner of the award in 2020.
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