Comments lead to criticism
The Moore you know - Donnie Moore
Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has come under fire for comments made about Israel and its possible role in American politics.
Omar was a part of the anti-Trump blue wave in the midterm election last year. She is also one of the first Muslims to ever be elected to Congress.
The comments were made at the Busboys & Poets event, where Omar and fellow members of Congress Mark Pocan, Pramila Jayapal and Rashida Tlaib were on a panel talking about progressive issues.
In her comments, she talk- ed about Israel and how it is allowed to have such an impact on American politics through lobbying efforts, and also how there is no Palestine lobbying group of the same stature.
Her issue is with AIPAC, which stands for American Israel Public Affairs Commit- tee, which is a pro-Israel lob- bying group.
They have put a lot of money into having certain legislation passed that would help Israel. Their current methods have worked very well in being able to get more funding for Israel's military.
AIPAC funded $27,015 in political contributions in the 2018 election cycle and put forward $3,518,028 in lobbying in 2018 as well, according to Opensecrets.org a Foreign Lobby Watch Group.
AIPAC is not the only group that pushes pro-Israel legislation through lobbying and campaign contributions, but they do have a very heavy influence in Washington, which leads to them being able to get what they want done easier.
Omar actually brought up good points of who we are allowing to control the narrative, and how that can affect what the perceived problem is.
"But we never really allow space for the stories of Palestinians seeking safety and sanctuary to be uplifted," said Omar.
"And to me, it is the dehumanization and the silencing of a particular pain and suffering of people, should not be OK and normal."
She is talking from the perspective that we should be able to see both sides without having to pick a side or demonize one side.
She went on to talk about how she is facing calls of being anti-Semitic only because she is Muslim.
"And what I am fearful of is that because Rashida and I are Muslim, that a lot of Jewish colleagues, a lot of our Jewish constituents, a lot of our allies, go to thinking that everything we say about Israel, to be anti-Semitic, because we are Muslim," said Omar.
"And so to me, it is something that becomes designed to end the debate."
Her point here is very much been proven with the reaction of some of her fellow members of Congress about her comments.
To call the comments that she made to be anti-Semitic is very troubling because to say that any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is to try and stop critical thinking of how true peaceful resolution can come about in the region.
In response to her comments, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry.
What House Democrats are doing to Omar is very dangerous, to call her anti-Semitic, for really just calling out how our current system of pay-to-play politics is bad. This truly shows how much of an issue it is.
As the party currently going after the president for colluding with Russia, it seems hypocritical of them to attack a member of their own party for saying that another country's role in our politics should be criticized.
What Omar said was not hateful nor was it anti-Semitic. It was a representative saying that we should be more critical on how things are done in Washington.
This was not a Pro-Israel or Anti-Israel debate. It was a possible conversation on how we should decide to make policy without the influence of other countries, but also being able to have the perspective to not dehumanize one group to help the other.
Donnie Moore is the Opinion Editor for the Thunderword.