The Omar Fiasco

From Politico:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats will take floor action Wednesday in response to controversial remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar about Israel, the second such rebuke of the freshman Democrat from party leaders in recent weeks.

Pelosi and other senior Democrats have drafted a resolution to address the controversy, which ballooned over the weekend following a public clash between Omar and senior Jewish lawmakers.

The resolution, which began circulating to members Monday night, comes after a backlash from top Democrats who accused Omar of anti-Semitism for referring to pro-Israel advocates’ “allegiance to a foreign country.”

As always, I hesitate to even discuss Israel on my own fucking blog because every time I do, some people absolutely lose their fucking shit and act the fool. Regardless, we soldier on. First off, this:

In other words, she didn’t say what she is accused of saying, and she predicted people would lie about it and lose their shit. At any rate, I also had some thoughts on the twitter machine, and I will present them here:

I’ve never felt the Democratic leadership was more out of touch with the majority of the base than I do with this Ihlan Omar stuff. Do they not realize that the majority of their base just doesn’t think of Israel as some sacred cow? To most people under 40, unless they have marinated in wingnut propaganda and hardline zionist rhetoric, Israel is just another country. It’s not something special. It’s not been anything in the short lifetimes of the younger crowd been anything other than a problem.

Whether it’s shooting up flotillas, having snipers take out rock throwers, Netanyahu holding GOP gotv political rallies in congress, trying to sabotage the Iran deal, whatever, Israel is just another country and not one that seems particularly interested in pursuing the interests of Americans. This is especially true when you watch Donald Trump shit all over places like England, Germany, France, and Canada, which haven’t been as problematic as Israel.

So you have people wondering what the hell is going on with Israel that all these congressmen jump whenever someone tells them to, and it just confirms the belief that maybe Israel and AIPAC has more influence in US politics than they should. Not to mention- when has the House issued a resolution declaring anti-Islamic tropes are out of bounds when, well, hell half the GOP issues them every day?

So I don’t know what they are thinking. Obviously anti-Semitism is bad. But to the kids, it’s not any worse than the anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant bashing, attacks on LGBTQ, etc., that goes on every single day without notice. Add to it that no matter how carefully crafted anything Omar says, the same usual suspects will scream it is anti-Semitic. It’s like Israel’s “best friends” and most ardent supporters are going to, in the end, turn out to be her worst enemies. Shutting down legitimate debate and enabling Israel to continue down this path is going to be the death of that nation and when these old fuckers are gone, the only people left are going to be so sick of this bullshit treatment that Israel is going to be in a tight spot.

And right on cue:

This is not going to lead anywhere positive, and Israel’s outsized influence being wasted punishing people for speech is going to have serious repercussions for Israel. Considering there are legitimate threats to Israel’s existence, this is even more absurd. Israel’s hardline supporters seem most intent on making more enemies, rather than shoring up support. A decade of Netanyahu, who is basically Israel’s Trump, has made this worse.

209 replies
  1. 1
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Great post. Maybe someday sanity will return and we can have nice things again.

  2. 2
    Brickley Paiste says:

    It’s possible to recognize that Israel has instituted an oppressive apartheid regime, has too much influence on US policy, and that Judaism is as silly as any other religion while still recognizing that Omar is an anti-Semitic asshole.

  3. 3
    plato says:

    I want to be very clear, with absolutely no equivocation. Rep. Ilhan Omar is asking questions about American policy in the Middle East and elsewhere that should have been asked decades ago. They're terrified, and they're trying to take her down. #IStandWithIlhan— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) March 4, 2019

    If only the pols in both sides of the fucking aisle were as honest.

    Corrupt to the core nut n yahoo is not israel.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    @Brickley Paiste: And Brickley right out the gate proving precisely what I was talking about.

  5. 5
    plato says:

    @Brickley Paiste: And the bs troll spouts bs.

  6. 6
    Betty Cracker says:

    Bumping up my comment from the morning thread:

    Here’s an idea: how about Democrats don’t fall for the trap and opine on what another MoC says? When a reporter asks for a comment on Rep. Omar’s comment, they say, “Why don’t you ask her what she meant?”

    If standards were applied evenly, there wouldn’t be a reporter available to manufacture outrage about a freshman congresswoman’s soundbite because they’d all be camped out on Republican MoCs’ doorsteps with a 50-lb. binder filled with all the unambiguously racist, sexist, xenophobic and demented things the President of the United States has said. Maybe we stop playing their fucking game for a change.

    I respect Pelosi’s political acumen enormously, but you’re right — taking up this motion is stupid, self-destructive and out of all proportion to the alleged offense. One of our Brit commenters noted yesterday that wingnut groups successfully used this issue as a wedge against Labour over there and hoped we didn’t fall into the same trap here. Oops.

  7. 7
    Hildebrand says:

    It doesn’t help that so many seem so incapable of actually reading what she said without putting their interpretive spin on it and claiming that that is what she said.

    Judd Legum coughed up this earlier today:

    It’s possible to believe both:

    1. @IlhanMN shouldn’t accuse others of “dual loyalty,” which is historically an anti-Semitic trope

    2. @IlhanMN shouldn’t be singled out for rebuke by the House when the racism, sexism, homophobia and deplorable conduct of other members is ignored

    She said no such thing. Legum and others need to argue in good faith, and stop with this bullshit of putting words into her mouth. They aren’t doing Israel any favors by reacting so badly to anything that even comes close to a critique.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    It’s all bullshit and this is exactly why we can’t have nice things. In order to preserve democracy and beat trump, we need to be unified. f..kem

  9. 9

    For a long time I’ve been wondering just what it is that Israel wants to do, because it sure as hell seems to me like they’re trying to fuck themselves over here. I really have a tough time seeing how anybody could look at what Israel is doing and think, “Yeah. That looks like a great plan. They should keep right on doing that. That can only lead to a good outcome.”

  10. 10
    Emma says:

    What I am afraid of is an anti-Israel backlash in the voting booth. As you say, the younger people do not have the same beliefs as the older folk, nor the same commitments. If they keep seeing young politicians, those they feel represent them and their worldview, attacked for saying things by their “older and more experienced betters,” they might just decide what the hell nobody is representing us and sit out elections again. Or join a futile third party. God help us.

  11. 11
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Brickley Paiste: Well, you have plenty of experience in being an out-and-proud asshole, is that what’s informing your expert opinion on Omar?


    ETA: And I see that the Blogfather got there before me. Carry on, JC.

  12. 12
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Any news?

  13. 13
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    The Israeli wub in government is clearly out of control and Omar is right to disturb the shit about it.

  14. 14
    Chyron HR says:

    But what if I shit my pants and scream “ALLEGIANCE MEANS KILL DA JOOS” at the top of my lungs for hours? what THEN, antisemites?

  15. 15
    cain says:

    What threats? That might be true about 30 years ago, but Israel is swimming in money and is filled with weapons. Nobody is going to attack Israel.

    The other thing is that even young Jews do not have the allegiance to Israel that they had before.

    Finally, fuck AIPAC and Israel’s current hard right govt who really only care about Republicans. They are part of the whole culture of corruption and I don’t see why we should support a country that supports Republians.

    If Omar is smart, she should simply put it under the lens as why should we support a country who works to put Republicans in charge. That is indisputable and has nothing to do with Judaism.

  16. 16

    You can lie about immigrants, Jews, Muslims and institute Nazi-lite policies, as long as you are a white (orange) male Republican, not otherwise.

  17. 17
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Before the storm hits: I’m with you, John.

  18. 18
    Mathguy says:

    Thanks for saying something that needed to be said.

  19. 19
    chopper says:

    i mean, let’s face it, no matter how carefully crafted her statement was some people were going to flip out for the reasons rep. vargas said – “you can’t question it!”.

  20. 20
    Al Z. says:

    I’m wondering if the Dem leadership is attempting to inoculate the party in advance of the 2020 elections. I agree with this post but this will become a another dumb GOP bludgeon for criticizing any dem candidate for prez.

  21. 21
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): As John said Netanyahu is Israel’s Trump. So it’s about making the libertards cry and damn the consequences because Netanyahu will be dead by then.

  22. 22
    Aurona says:

    Well said; I’m tired of the Olds who do not grok what the Youngs are dealing with; I stand with Ilhan Omar in the words that she actually said as opposed to the words Rep. Nita Lowey, Rep. Vargas and others have put in her mouth. Since Trump and his crew of Bolton et. al, are busy stomping world relationships into a pulp, we might as well dig in and redesign our relationship with Israel, AIPAC and Netanyahu. I look forward to Indictments 2019 with Trump and Netanyahu; these are the threats, not Ilhan.

  23. 23
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    Right on, Cole.

  24. 24
    Miss Bianca says:

    @zhena gogolia: Not yet. But efforts continuing. Thanks for asking!

  25. 25
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    This is like inductive reasoning for global politics: If you criticize Jews, you’re an anti-semite. If you criticise Israel, you’re criticizing Jews. If you criticize a pro-Israel PAC, you’re criticizing Israel. If you criticize the supporters of a pro-Israel PAC, you’re criticizing the PAC…
    {intermediate steps deleted}
    …which shows that if you breathe air, you need to apologize.

  26. 26
    trollhattan says:

    Can’t argue with any of the above.

    This is a conversation we need to have and yet are unwilling to even leave the starting gate. If that isn’t a sign of unwarranted influence then I can’t recognize it at all.

  27. 27
    germy says:

    @Quaker in a Basement: And if you are Bibi’s attorney general, and you bring charges against him, he will accuse you of “blood libel”

  28. 28
    EthylEster says:

    So…what is the language of the resolution?
    Shouldn’t that be presented before folks comment?

  29. 29
    Brickley Paiste says:

    Oh please. Omar use of the word “allegiance” isn’t an accident.

    Read Josh Marshall who explains why this is anti-Semitic.

    About as subtle as complimenting a black womanizer for being “articulate”.

  30. 30
    lumpkin says:

    I don’t have any problem with Omar’s statements but I would not have chosen that hill to die on. You have to choose your battles carefully and this one is not winnable now or any time soon. And taking a great big high profile whack at it was bound to produce this entirely predictable backlash.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Brickley Paiste:
    This is not about Judaism, you knucklehead. Casually insulting that faith does absolutely nothing to support your argument, whatever it may be.

  32. 32
    Barbara says:

    I agree with John’s comment, but I continue to think it is simply a mistake for Rep. Omar to keep banging her head against the wall. It’s not fair, and yes, people are twisting her words and more so because she is Muslim and anti-Muslim bias, like anti-fat bias, is one of the few permissible biases left for people to leverage for political and economic advantage. But she is a first-term congressional representative who basically has no allies yet and she is destined to fail if she keeps up the drumbeat in this manner.

    I totally agree that a majority of Americans put Israel far down on their list of immediate or strong concern, but this cuts both ways. Do you think her constituents elected her to go to the mat on American relations with Israel?

  33. 33
    catclub says:


    If Omar is smart, she should simply put it under the lens as why should we support a country who works to put Republicans in charge. That is indisputable and has nothing to do with Judaism.


    It was bad when the Russians worked to put Republicans into power in the US – for their own ends. Why is it different when Israel tries only to put Republicans in power in the US?

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    I love Ted Lieu 😍😍🤗🤗👏👏

    Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) Tweeted:
    .@RepDonBeyer & I have made a criminal referral of Jared Kushner to @TheJusticeDept.

    Making false statements or omitting material info on SF-86 security form is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. More info at @politico huddle. Here’s the letter:

  35. 35
    eclare says:

    @Miss Bianca: Still thinking good thoughts for you and Luna

  36. 36
    different-church-lady says:

    @John Cole: it’s your ban-hammer, dude.

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    I prefer to state that, all opinions to the contrary, Israel is NOT the 51st state. They are actually a different country from the US and have different interests.
    I would also note that while we have mutual defense treaties with Turkey (NATO), we do not have any mutual defense treaties with Israel.
    [Please point out if this is wrong.]

  38. 38
    justawriter says:

    Common sense about Israel was assassinated in 1995. Since then it’s been heartbreaking to see a noble experiment crumble.

  39. 39
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with what she said.
    I definitely didn’t see anything any anti-Semitic about it.
    Folks better realize that there are a nice chunk of Democrats, loyal Democrats, who are more than tired of the 51st state and their oversized importance to American foreign policy.

  40. 40
    DanF says:

    Nailed it.

  41. 41
    eclare says:

    @rikyrah: Awesome!

  42. 42
    laura says:

    Consequences for slights, real or imagined just feeds the Dems in disarray tropes.

  43. 43
    Kraux Pas says:


    It’s not fair, and yes, people are twisting her words and more so because she is Muslim and anti-Muslim bias, like anti-fat bias, is one of the few permissible biases left for people to leverage for political and economic advantage.

    This bears repeating.

  44. 44
    Plato says:


    Or may be she doesn’t give a shit about getting ‘reelected’ and wants to shine some sunlight on ‘ugly politics’?

  45. 45
    opiejeanne says:

    @rikyrah: Ted Lieu is one of my favorite people.

    OT, has anyone heard from Yutsano?

  46. 46
    opiejeanne says:

    @rikyrah: Amen.

  47. 47
    Kraux Pas says:


    it’s your ban-hammer, dude.

    So that BP may change its name and everyone inclined to use the pie filter will have to go through the task of updating theirs?

  48. 48
    eclare says:

    Well said, JC. EU countries are moving away from supporting Israel, you would think it would want friends.

    But then I look at our POS trashing the EU…I guess KSA is our new BFF, along with DPRK, Russia.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) Tweeted:
    Breaking: @RepAdamSchiff hires experienced Russia organized crime prosecutor to lead investigation of @realDonaldTrump . My @NewYorker column.

  50. 50
    lurker dean says:

    what jim jordan did with a dollar sign in tom steyer’s name is much more overtly antisemitic, yet silence. it’s the messenger, not the message.

  51. 51

    @Barbara: And don’t forget the anti-immigrant bias weaponized by the stable genius. The only “good” immigrants are their ancestors, the newer ones will be tolerated as long as they know their place and don’t speak up.
    Its not just the Rs who display this attitude.

  52. 52
    taumaturgo says:

    Why the surprise? Establishment DINOs doing want they always have done best, run to the right of the GOP when they feel a hint of heat coming their way. No spine, no moral compass, no integrity to defend the first Somali immigrant representative who happens to be black and of the Muslim faith. This to me is an example of why Hillary lost the election to a candidate like Trump: how are the hypocrite democrats going to take care of the country if they cut and run, and side with the opposition when one of their team comes under attack?

  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    So you have people wondering what the hell is going on with Israel that all these congressmen jump whenever someone tells them to, and it just confirms the belief that maybe Israel and AIPAC has more influence in US politics than they should. Not to mention- when has the House issued a resolution declaring anti-Islamic tropes are out of bounds when, well, hell half the GOP issues them every day?

    So I don’t know what they are thinking. Obviously anti-Semitism is bad. But to the kids, it’s not any worse than the anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant bashing, attacks on LGBTQ, etc., that goes on every single day without notice. Add to it that no matter how carefully crafted anything Omar says, the same usual suspects will scream it is anti-Semitic.

    Yeppity yep, yep. Totally concur.

    Well said. Nothing much could be added.

  54. 54
    elm says:

    I like how nobody can point to anti-Semitic connotations of “allegiance”.

  55. 55
    jacy says:

    The Omar thing is bullshit. It’s a trapdoor opened by Republicans and Democrats are falling right into it. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.

    Seriously, it’s like we never learn a damned thing.

  56. 56

    As for AOC and Omar, I think they need to talk and tweet less and work more.

  57. 57
    Doug R says:

    I found this poking around on the twitter of Victoria Brownworth who had the excellent thread about Amy Klobochar that you jackals had a post about:

    Those of us with family in Israel who are opposed to the Netanyahu govt are able to distinguish between being against repressive policies and being anti-Semitic. We also know Islamophobia when we see it & Omar is being victimized by it by people who really don’t care about Jews.

  58. 58
    opiejeanne says:

    @taumaturgo: Hello, new name person. How the fuck do you arrive at this being the reason HRC “lost”?

  59. 59
    Barbara says:

    @Plato: Certainly. That’s her prerogative. Nothing about the status quo with Israel makes me happy. Not the political status quo in Israel itself and not the ridiculous and ultimately self-destructive indulgence that our government including Congress shows towards Israel no matter what it does. I imagine what the remaining founding fathers of the U.S. thought when the Missouri Compromise was struck in 1820 — the “firebell in the night” — and the dread that consumed them over how slavery would ultimately tear the nation apart. That’s how I think about Israel. Ultimately, there will be a catastrophe of some kind.

  60. 60
    John Cole says:

    @EthylEster: It’s in the link I posted to the Politico.

  61. 61
    Plato says:


    Yeah, it worked out great for policy wonks like Gore and Hillary.

    The yung’uns earned their right to speak by getting elected, didn’t they?

    And it’s not that they talk garbage unlike the rethugs.

  62. 62
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @opiejeanne: that one sounds familiar– Timmeh Spatula and a collection of other nyms?

  63. 63
    Mabndalay says:


    I don’t see anything wrong with what she said.

    And now the leaders of the Democratic Party are wildly overreacting, and going after a brown woman in a desperate attempt to nip this exposure of an open, dirty secret in the bud.

    I hope their disgusting shitshow explodes up in their face.

  64. 64

    @opiejeanne: Boris from Vladivostock has a directive, he has to work in HRC’s defeat into every comment

  65. 65
    Mike in NC says:

    Netanyahu as the Israeli version of Trump is a good analogy: a corrupt, worthless asshole who sucks all the oxygen from any room. When does he go on trial?

  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mike in NC: also a racist motivated in no small part by an obsessive hatred of Barack Obama

  67. 67
    NotoriousJRT says:

    Speaker Pelosi, is that you? My guess is this is the political calculus. And, I tend to agree with it up to a point. There is a lot of political calculus to go around these days. Many people want to advance their brand or POV, and it does not always dovetail seamlessly with the larger goal of vanquishing Trump and Trumpism. I’d like to see the Speaker address the AOC remarks. As one of the “olds,” I think everyone would do well to understand the traps out there and try to avoid wandering in. But, who knows what I would think if I weren’t such a fossil.

  68. 68
    EthylEster says:

    Whereas the definition further includes ‘‘accusing Jewish citi-
    zens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged prior-
    ities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations’’;

    This is only one of several “whereas” paragraphs.
    But Omar is not make this accusation.
    So to me this looks like ass-covering.

    I look forward the resolution that lists and condemns various forms of islamophobia

  69. 69
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Barbara: The anti-BDS legislation being put forward in Congress, combined with the equivalent versions that were already passed (copy-pasted between about 20 states) is just one reason why Omar cannot avoid it. She’s literally from a community that’s being forced to choose between their free-speech/their jobs as government contractors. That’s partially how this episode happened.

    There’s also no way a Muslim Somali-American woman can avoid being asked a question about this, and not be forced somehow someway to comment. Bottom line, she cannot avoid it because she’s that rare person who simultaneously represents her community, her race, and her religion. The media love that, and target that. They will never not let her not comment, & if she doesn’t say something controversial they will still make a controversy. Period. And that’s the other reason this episode happened.

    So, she didn’t say what she has been impugned as saying. And as an American Jewish person I’m furious that my representatives are ignoring me for a bunch of f*cking fanatical Christians whose whole love of Israel is based on a prophecy that predicts the death &/ disappearance &/ conversion of all Jews! And what I’d really love is if Congress would STFU entirely unless they’re planning on sanctioning all the Nazi meme-spreading Representatives in the GOP.

  70. 70
    germy says:

    Ilhan Omar pointing out the hypocrisy at the heart of American policy toward the Middle East is not anti-Semitism. It’s real talk we need to have. We need more of her, not more craven bowing at the altar of AIPAC, which is no better than how the National Rifle Association acts. Moreover, younger Democratic voters get this and attacking Omar is just going to alienate a generation who is increasingly seeing through the propaganda surrounding our Middle Eastern policy, seeking justice and peace for everyone in and around Israel.


  71. 71
    EthylEster says:

    @John Cole:

    It’s in the link I posted to the Politico.

    OK. I admit I do not click on politico links.

  72. 72
    H.E.Wolf says:

    This will be exactly as much of a distracting squabble as we let it be. I am far more interested in following the course of US House investigations – mark your calendars for March 14, when Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee will hold an open hearing – and in doing voter-outreach groundwork for elections this year and next.

    Remember, some of the folks in the news media are interested in creating squabbles so that they can report excitedly on them. Blech.

  73. 73
    BJ says:

    I’m with Rep. Omar. The US needs to stop supporting the apartheid nation of Israel ASAP.

  74. 74

    @Plato: They can learn how to be effective from Nancy Pelosi, instead tactically their role model seems to be Twittler.

  75. 75
    Plato says:

    @Tenar Arha:

    Hear, hear.

    an American Jewish person I’m furious that my representatives are ignoring me for a bunch of f*cking fanatical Christians whose whole love of Israel is based on a prophecy that predicts the death &/ disappearance &/ conversion of all Jews!

  76. 76

    @H.E.Wolf: Thank You. Balloon Juice FP is uber sensitive to media frenzies. Count the number of posts on Northam to the number of posts on the children who have become orphans thanks to T’s policies.

  77. 77
    Lyrebird says:

    @John Cole: Thanks Blogfather. Seriously it makes a difference.

    I will skip reading the rest of the comments but if any other Yiddishly affiliated readers like me wanna sign this “Jews with Ilhan” petition, here is a linky for you.

    Also, where was the house resolution condemning the Bloviator In Chief for burning an Israeli intelligence asset within ISIS ffs?

    Until they come down as hard on that, on the Minority Leader’s much more appalling Soros libel, and on the anti-Muslim hate that’s permitted to stand on the record, no more slamming of Rep. Omar.

    ETA: calling my rep again to say the same thing

  78. 78
    germy says:

    Some 130,000 Ethiopians, most of them Jewish, live in Israel. The community experiences higher poverty and unemployment rates than the rest of the country’s Jewish population. In the past decade, the birth rate among Ethiopian-Israelis has declined by at least 20 percent. Advocacy groups now claim this decline is the result of a birth control regimen forced upon Ethiopian immigrant women.

  79. 79
    Exo says:

    I’m with Rep. Omar. The US needs to stop supporting the apartheid nation of Israel and start supporting the Palestinians ASAP.

  80. 80
    Kraux Pas says:

    Is the vote yet? I’m calling my Congressman

  81. 81
    gratuitous says:

    Two things to keep in mind: One, it benefits certain power players in our country to stir up shit, and keep Democrats squabbling. (N.B. I am not saying that any particular individual person’s disagreement or squabble is invalid or the product of some false-face troll, which is just the sort of shit-stirring I’m talking about.) Just be aware of that.

    Two, whenever possible, do as Stephen Miles did: Go back to the original comments or remarks. Don’t rely on a second-hand account or interpretation, especially if you don’t know who’s putting their gloss on it.

    This is going to happen A LOT in the next 20 months.

  82. 82
    Plato says:


    Twittler? Really? I have actually seen their ‘attack videos’ and totally disagree. The older dems, including Pelosi, have clay feet when it comes to Israel, regardless of which thug is their leader.

  83. 83
    Josie says:

    Thank you, John Cole. And it’s not just the kids who feel this way.

  84. 84
    germy says:

    Is this payback for the Elliott Abrams questioning? Or did this blow up before?

    Because there are people in the media who are darned determined to make us all mad about this, but I haven’t seen any news reports about Gym Jordan’s dollar sign tweet.

  85. 85
    Doug R says:


    The older dems, including Pelosi, have clay feet when it comes to Israel, regardless of which thug is their leader.

    Thug? Whaaaaat?

  86. 86

    @Barbara: You said what I wanted to but with more eloquence

  87. 87
    Cermet says:

    As I posted yesterday and included what she actually said – stupid is as stupid does but I excepted better of BJ readers. She never said ANYTHING AT ALL wrong or anti-Semitic nor even what people are saying. READ WHAT THE FUCK SHE SAID BEFORE POSTING and being STUPID.

    I find all religions beyond silly and her’s is just as bad as all the others but to call her antisemitic because she says she shouldn’t have to hold allegiance to another country is beyond stupid.

  88. 88
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I’m with Ilhan Omar on this.

    This is a long overdue conversation.

  89. 89
    germy says:

    @Doug R: Thug meaning Bibi.

    The guy who’s under indictment for being a thug.

  90. 90
    Plato says:

    @Doug R:

    Yes, doug. Nut n yahoo is a thug. Next?

  91. 91
    stinger says:

    Thank you, John Cole.

  92. 92
    chris says:

    This great @SherylNYT story about AIPAC's clout gets at one of my favorite quirks in politics: Ilhan Omar is *not* the most outspoken critic of Israel's settlements in the Minnesota delegation.— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) 5 March 2019

  93. 93
    Wapiti says:

    When this resolution thing was announced, my immediate reaction was that the Dem leadership really want to get this out of the spotlight so that the media can focus on other things. It’s not a rebuke of Omar, not as it was written in the version I saw, and she could likely vote for it or abstain. Whatever Nancy Pelosi tells her to do :)

    However. But. It’s not going away that easy. The Republicans want it in the news. The MSM Trump-fluffers want it in the news. Trump desperately wants it in the news. And our relationship with Israel is frankly probably due for discussion. Better now than in 2020.

  94. 94

    @Plato: Yes they have feet of clay but they also know how the game is played. AOC and Omar show great promise but they have a lot to learn. This is not a knock against them, they are new. Starting these pointless debates over Israel which do nothing to change anyone’s mind, achieves exactly what? It hands Rs a nice distraction from the Orange catastrophe in the WH.

    With that I am done with this debate about whether IO is anti-Semitic or not. I have other things to attend to.

  95. 95
    germy says:

    McCollum has been outspoken against "illegal Israeli settlement expansion." And no one's laid a glove on her in her St. Paul-based, safe blue district.— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 5, 2019

  96. 96
    eemom says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    Hope things have worked out ok with your family/legal issues?

  97. 97
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I disagree this is pointless. Undue foreign influence is very much on point.

  98. 98
    gene108 says:


    A lot of the freshman Democrats ran campaigns, which refused to take money from PAC’s and big donors. They said they’d get by with small contributions, which worked, since even people, who lost close races were well funded compared to the incumbent.

    I always wondered what this eschewing of big money would lead to, with regards to freshman Congresspeople versus older politicians, who still take in money from big donors.

    I think this Ohmar kerfuffle is just one of the more public reactions to something, which will build up on other issues.

  99. 99
    Doug R says:


    Yes, doug. Nut n yahoo is a thug. Next?

    Oh, you’re referring to the Israeli prime minister, not their leader. It’s barely 9am here-a little trouble with the pronoun game.

  100. 100
    opiejeanne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes. I was trying to remember who it sounded like.

  101. 101
    Mabndalay says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    I’m with Ilhan Omar on this. This is a long overdue conversation.

    Yep. I don’t see why Cole thinks “This is not going to lead anywhere positive”. If it shines light on the current situation it’s a wonderful thing.

    And Republicans must be jerking themselves stupid as the leaders of the Democratic Party go after a brown woman.

  102. 102
  103. 103
    opiejeanne says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Ha! Even our Plato seems to be going along, alas.

  104. 104
    Plato says:


    We had Obama for eight years and couldn’t talk about it cuz ‘don’t rock the boat’. I give great credit to Obama for trying to address this despite the boneless dem caucus. The fucking congrress invited this corrupt thug from another country to rebuke their own president and gave him a fucking standing ovation.

    So, when is the good time to address this festering issue? Obviously, the new set think it is now.

  105. 105
    catclub says:

    When does he go on trial?

    I read somewhere that the premier in Israel does not have to resign on conviction until…. all appeals are concluded.
    So twelfth of never, or thereabouts.

  106. 106
    Kraux Pas says:

    @eemom: Thanks for remembering. Yeah, things are still underway and we did manage to find an attorney. The resolution he foresees is something we can live with and the way he explained the process, it helped make me confident he’s right in his assessment.

  107. 107
    cain says:

    @lurker dean:

    what jim jordan did with a dollar sign in tom steyer’s name is much more overtly antisemitic, yet silence. it’s the messenger, not the message.

    Of course. A white man say anti-Semitic things is met with silence.. but it is easy to pounce on the hijab wearing lady and leveraging the anti-muslim feeling a lot of the right wing has (and maybe some left wingers too) and create a story and then lead it everywhere.

  108. 108
    opiejeanne says:

    OT: Has Yutsano checked in here again? I’ve been off of BJ for several days.

    More OT: Today is mr opiejeanne’s birthday; he is 72.

  109. 109
    cain says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Netanyahu as the Israeli version of Trump is a good analogy: a corrupt, worthless asshole who sucks all the oxygen from any room. When does he go on trial?

    We can’t really talk about Netanyahu’s trial because it would be anti-Semitic to do so.

  110. 110
    A Ghost To Most says:

    The thing that galls me the most is that the 3 religions involved in this clusterfuck each claim to have the same sky fairy backing their side.

  111. 111
    jl says:

    Unless the resolution condemns all who have traded in anti-Semitism, particularly GOPers in Congress who have knowingly and cynically done much much worse, by an order of magnitude, I oppose this effort.
    Pelosi has been doing much better than I expected, but if she allows something to go to the floor that singles out Omar, that is just garbage.

  112. 112
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @John Cole: Ah, it’s Prickly Waste, reveling in the opportunity to take down an elected black woman who isn’t Kamala Harris. And for alleged anti-semitism no less. I’m surprised he was able to control himself enough to type those words. What did you expect?

  113. 113
    piratedan says:

    is Steve King still a sitting MoC? If so, why in the fuck are we talking about MoC Omar?

    When the GOP decides to censor their Nazi’s then we can actually worry about whether an American MoC, who happens to be Muslim, is allowed to question US Foreign Policy in regards to Israel (to wit: she can and is allowed to) and the influence that their political lobbies wield.

  114. 114
    NY Robbin says:

    @Tenar Arha:

    Can I hear an amen!? As a Jewish baby-boomer in New York City, I’m sick to death of the Likud-humping among democrats. The Israeli government became dead to me when they disrespected my elected Democratic president. I just wish my senior senator would buy a clue.

  115. 115
    zzyzx says:

    I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Omar on this comment section but not even I know what this censure is supposed to accomplish. I don’t see the Mideast as Israeli v Palestinians as much as those who try to escalate the conflict and those who are trying to unify. I don’t see anything good coming from this.

    Omar isn’t in the top 100 problems in the Congress.

  116. 116
    elm says:

    @zzyzx: It’s supposed to shut her up. What else would it be meant to accomplish?

  117. 117
    Plato says:



    Yup. Some here accuse the newbie falling for the typical rethug tactics when in reality, it is the most experienced, who should know better, who are falling for it.

  118. 118

    White people don’t get to forgive racists on behalf of blacks. They also don’t get to forgive antisemitic language on behalf of Jews. “Allegiance to a foreign country,” “hypnotized,” this is language the Nazis used. And Omar has doubled down – apologized and then repeated the offense. She knows its an offense and has repeated it.

    I like the remarks of Rabbi Ruti Regan, no lover of the Israeli right wing herself:

    Things that apparently need saying in this repetitive stale hell of a news cycle: 1) Neither the American Jewish community nor Israel is secretly hypnotizing America. 2) Congresswoman Omar is not a terrorist and the American Muslim community is not a terrorist group. –

    The end result of all of this is to both offend Jews and to reinforce the position of the most aggressive supporters of Israel.

    And AOC’s response ( was impressive, neither supporting the language nor adding fuel to the fire. Woman will be Presidential material, if there is still a Presidency when she is old enough.

  119. 119
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Felanius Kootea: That person’s “support” of Harris is pure shit-stirring too, FYI. (Maybe you already know that — if so, please excuse the unsolicited troll-splaining!)

  120. 120
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Raven Onthill:
    Sounds pretty tribal to me, but then I had a hard time following it.

  121. 121
    tobie says:

    I’ve stayed away from this discussion because it seemed like one of those umpteen cases in which no minds would be moved. That said, the proposed censure resolution is just plain stupid and wrong. I do think Omar made one mistake in all this and that was to talk about the motivations of the people who support Israel (money, dual allegiance, etc.) rather highlighting the appalling facts on the ground (land confiscation for settlements, secondary status for Palestinians, wanton bombing of the Gaza strip, etc). Elliot Engel made a big mistake in going after a member of his caucus in public instead of trying to have a conversation with her in private. He’s not a freshman rep. He’s a seasoned politico and should know better. If this censure goes through against Omar, he should also lose his chairmanship of the House Foreign Relations committee. He’s shown himself to be incapable of running a committee.

  122. 122
    TomatoQueen says:

    @opiejeanne: Welcome back and happy 72nd birfday mr opiejeanne! So glad you’re both safe from that eyes-on-stalks storm. Yutsano did check in and is doing better, I can’t remember the link but within the last 2 days.

  123. 123
    trollhattan says:

     AOC’s ability to navigate really tricky waters continues to impress. I hope the arrows continually aimed her direction all miss and she has the chance to grow into the job and flourish–both because of her potential and her presence drawing more young, smart and ambitions new people into politics.

  124. 124
    cain says:

    I phoned it in and encouraged my reprsentative to vote against the censure vote

  125. 125
    zzyzx says:

    @Raven Onthill: I was worried at first that AOC was just hype, but the more I hear from her, the more I like her.

    One thing that I tweeted today is that a reason I think I’m a lot more sensitive to minor antisemitic tropes that I would have barely noticed a decade ago, is that things are a tad scarier now. Charlottesville and Pittsburgh here. Europe is seeing a resurgence of populism; I’m already starting to draw lines on maps of countries that I no longer feel safe visiting with my very Jewish name. I feel a lot higher strung right now in general, and my generation of Jews were taught to always look for the warning signs, ALWAYS!

    Omar is largely saying valid things poorly, but it’s harder to see that in 2019.

  126. 126
    Another Scott says:


    A copy of the resolution’s text obtained by The Hill does not specifically cite Omar’s comments. It does state that “accusations of dual loyalty generally have an insidious, bigoted history,” and declares that the House “acknowledges the dangerous consequences of perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes” and “rejects anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”

    It’s good they’re not singling her out directly, and it’s good that they’re not caving to all the GOP demands. With any luck, this will blow over soon.


  127. 127
    BobS says:

    We’re at least 50 years overdue having this conversation.
    A young, dark-skinned Muslim woman from Somalia is possibly the bravest American politician of my lifetime.

  128. 128
    JPL says:

    This is the news that the house should be talking about.
    Ice released twelve detained babies..;

    They weren’t detained they were kidnapped.

  129. 129

    @A Ghost To Most: I just entered “jewish tribalism” into Duck Duck Go. The very first link that came up was to David Duke’s web site.

    Now do you get it?

  130. 130
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: Thanks for the information on the resolution. I’ve been wondering what it’s content would be.

  131. 131
    eemom says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    Very glad to hear it!

  132. 132

    There’s a lot of dog-whistles in this area, things that antisemites and Jews know are antisemitic that most people don’t. Listen to Jews on the subject. Listen.

  133. 133
    Kay says:

    It’s not all kumbaya behind the scenes:

    But other lawmakers bristle at Aipac’s tactics. In 2006, Representative Betty McCollum, Democrat of Minnesota, who has advocated humanitarian aid for Palestinians, wrote an angry letter to Mr. Kohr saying Aipac would be barred from her offices until it apologized for the behavior of one of its representatives who had berated her chief of staff, Bill Harper, and said Ms. McCollum’s “support for terrorists will not be tolerated.”
    Mr. Harper said he took it as an effort “to intimidate” Ms. McCollum, “including threatening to take care of her in the next election.” He said Aipac’s members subsequently stopped donating to her.

  134. 134
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Yes, this draft class continues to impress. They sure have got the GOPers (and too comfortable Ds) riled up. Good.

  135. 135
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    You know, that would have been the time for the right wing to say that she was TALKING about RUSSIA as is TOTALLY OBVIOUS. (Of course, she might be too honest to play that game – good for her, in a moral sense.)

    The Democratic leadership had better stop *helping* the bad guys demonize our folks. It’s completely reasonable to ask why people are pushing for kissing the ass of Israel, whether you call it allegiance or something else. (And if anyone loses their shit over that statement, Immodium might help.)

  136. 136
    Another Scott says:

    @germy: Interesting, but isn’t the line between “contributing” and “lobbying” nearly invisible? (rhetorical)



  137. 137
    Plato says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    That advice is better addressed to the actual nazi party. Know thy enemy.

  138. 138
    LivinginExile says:

    @rikyrah: thank you. Well said.

  139. 139
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Broccoli Puss: Why hasn’t this POS been banhammered into the Lesser Magellanic Cloud? C’mon, FPers, get on the stick!

  140. 140
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    Listen to Jews on the subject. Listen.

    Well, Jews aren’t a monolith and at least some here have taken Omar’s side.

  141. 141
    sukabi says:

    Thank you John.

  142. 142
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Raven Onthill:
    I’m sick of ALL the tribalism.

    I didn’t say “Jewish tribalism”; it took you looking for offense to add that.

    You don’t know me.

    How about we all be American, now when it really counts?

  143. 143
    BobS says:

    @Raven Onthill: Is there unanimity in the Jewish community with respect to Omar’s comments?
    Who should we listen to? Noam Chomsky? Sheldon Adelson?

  144. 144

    @zzyzx: Yeah. Heck, even some US states. And, yes, AOC is impressive. I foresaw her, too, back in May of last year, so I figure I get to gloat a little. (

  145. 145
    Sean says:

    I agree with so many of the sentiments here & don’t dare post any of this on Twitter. We can’t be focused solely on doing just what the Isreali leadership wants. Criticizing the Isreali government’s terrible policies RE: Palestinians and AIPAC’s outsized influence in our own politics is not anti-semitic. As John said, Democratic leadership that doesn’t get the generation divide on this issue is being stupid.
    It’s also telling that other MoC who aren’t Muslim & question our uncritical support for Isreali abuse of Palestinians don’t get this level of smackdown & vitriol.

  146. 146

    @A Ghost To Most: I ask you to be careful of your words when writing about antisemitism, just the way most of us are now careful when writing about racism. It is discouragingly easy to repeat something that one doesn’t know is a dog-whistle.

    @BobS: As the Yiddish saying has it, “Where there are two Jews, there are three opinions.” Still.

  147. 147
    opiejeanne says:

    @JPL: There are at least 16 more under the age of one year old that are still being held.

    I am not ready to rejoice just yet. I’m betting that those 12 were sick and they didn’t want to or just couldn’t deal with them. I only saw a brief mention of this but I didn’t follow up to find out how or to whom these children were released.

  148. 148
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Brickley Paiste: Well except for the fact that a lot of people with an outsized “allegiance “ to Israel are not Jewish but evangelical Christians who hope to use Israel for their own escatalogical purposes which would be much to the detriment of the present inhabitants should their delusions be realized.

  149. 149
    Wjs says:

    Here’s what we do not acknowledge because of sacred cows:

    Israelis killed numerous Americans on the USS Liberty. John McCain’s father helped cover it up.

    Israel has a vast array of nuclear weapons and doesn’t adhere to any treaty with regards to their arsenal.

    Dems and Republicans are paid handsomely to cover for Israel.

    We transfer enormous amounts of weaponry and technology to Israel and they sell it to our enemies.

    You can ban me now…

  150. 150
    StringOnAStick says:

    If you have a D Representative, go write them about this, and do the same to Speaker Pelosi. Lots of excellent points were raised in this thread, so go write the same thing to the people who are actually about to issue the resolution.

  151. 151
    Another Scott says:

    Relatedly, kinda – BBC – Belgium anti-Semitism row over stereotyped Jews in carnival float:

    A float featuring stereotyped Jewish figures at a carnival near Brussels has been widely criticised as anti-Semitic.

    The float in the town of Aalst, 25km (15 miles) from the European Parliament, featured the grinning figures of Orthodox Jews standing on large piles of money.

    Local Jewish organisations said it was “typical of Nazism of 1939”.

    “In a democratic country like Belgium, this has no place in 2019, carnival or not,” they said.


    Belgian media report that the group behind the controversial float, De Vismooil’n, went to the police after it received death threats over the float.

    The group were economising on a so-called “sabbatical year” – saving money on their float in this year’s parade to invest more heavily in the following year, members told Belgian news outlet HLN.

    “We came up with the idea to put Jews on our float. Not to make the faith ridiculous – carnival is simply a festival of caricature,” they said.

    “We found it comical to have pink Jews in the procession with a safe to keep the money we saved. You can have a laugh with other religions too,” they told HLN.

    The newspaper also quoted the town’s mayor, Christoph D’Haese, as saying the group “had no offensive intentions”.

    Um, if they’re really this clueless, then something weird is going on over there when it comes to understanding other cultures and religions….


  152. 152
    JPL says:

    @opiejeanne: The fact that Nielsen isn’t before the House explaining the purpose of kidnapping children and infants is sickening.

  153. 153

    @BobS: I think a good rule of thumb here is much the same as with blacks or the Rom; if the language offends a significant portion of the group, it is best not to use it. This language is associated with a great brutal genocide, and do we really want to be in the company of the people who support it?

    There are a lot of American Jews who believe that US Israeli policy is upgefked, but they don’t want to hear critiques of AIPAC using the language of antisemitism. It rankles, even when insult is not intended.

  154. 154
    opiejeanne says:

    @TomatoQueen: Thank you. The stinker looks like he’s in his 50s. It’s just not fair. At least no one has asked if I’m his mother recently.

  155. 155
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @StringOnAStick: It’s too bad Perlmutter apparently has no spine. It may be time to look at replacements.

  156. 156
    BobS says:

    @Raven Onthill: That’s a convenient non-answer. Of course, the net effect is what we’ve seen for decades- stifling dialogue.
    I have the feeling this time it’s not going to be so easy to close the barn door.

  157. 157
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Betty Cracker: Oh Prickly Waste made that pretty clear from the get go. I’ve never seen a “supporter” do as much to undermine the person he’s allegedly supporting.

    The flashes of racism in his attacks on the notion that black women are a core source of support for Democrats are just icing on the cake.

    But he is not the worst Balloon Juice troll ever and this black woman sometimes finds his wordplay to be entertaining. His arrogant self-regard is absolutely hilarious.

  158. 158
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Raven Onthill:
    The constant effort to conflate anti-Israel with anti-Semitism doesn’t help.

  159. 159

    @Raven Onthill:

    There’s a lot of dog-whistles in this area, things that antisemites and Jews know are antisemitic that most people don’t. Listen to Jews on the subject. Listen.

    It really doesn’t seem too tricky.

    ETA: and it can’t be that hard to police your own language, maybe run your remarks past a sensitivity-expert type person, like a reverse Stephen miller.

  160. 160
    Tony Jay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Ah it’s worse than that, Betty. Over here it’s not wingnuts trying to split Labour using accusations Of anti-semitism, it’s ‘centrist, moderate’ members (now some of them ex-members) of the New Labour tendency. The ‘terrorist-loving extremist’ bullshit thrown against Corbyn’s Labour might have started on the far-right, but once it was embraced by centre-right opportunists in the Parliamentary Party and their friends in the Press it became a non-stop feral cacophony that – purely coincidentally – reached ear-splitting volume whenever the Tories were having problems over Brexit and Labour was on the attack.
    They may not like this Tory Government much, but they have a much greater fear of Labour winning power on a left-wing manifesto. Imagine the damage inflicted on their post-politics careers by having to vote for nationalisation of public utilities and higher taxes on the super-rich. Perish the thought!

    to:dr – Wingnuts only started the record playing, it’s ‘moderate’ ‘centrist’ types who are hogging the mic as they try to kneecap their real rivals on ‘the left’.

  161. 161
    ruemara says:

    You will never see Islamophobia & anti-blackness condemned with 1/2 the ferocity that criticism of Israel will be. Ilhan Omar will have to figure out how to thread this first year because she is both Muslima & Somali-American. Worse, the political reality is very few will stand with her because of the way anti-semitism is primarily defined as anti-Jewish, even thought Arabs are part of Semitic ethnography, too. This has been a conversation regarding blind allegiance to Israel that neither serves to preserve peace in the ME nor Israel. They have a problem with being fascist & racist as national policy. Both sides have a problem with race & religion but it’s fucking astounding how under Bibi, Israel has gone nuts. Don’t even get me started on the anti-blackness, the proud interference in American elections, spying on America, killing American citizens, attempting to control stories on their crimes in American media, mocking us as their trained goon in public. America needs to drop this bad friend on their ass. No money, no more special deals. If they’re that grown, they can stand on their own.

    And AOC is largely hype. I can’t stand the fanhood already.

  162. 162
    Ruckus says:

    For everything else on the blog that might be an issue, having the pie filter is a blessing. Don’t use it often but it comes in handy every once in a while.

  163. 163
    BobS says:

    @ruemara: I was with you until the last part- she seems to be a fast learner, and her trolling of Republicans is masterful.

  164. 164
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    The BDS legislation is both unconstitutional and for me, a sign of weakness. It violates the First Amendment, and only opinions that cannot defend themselves need this sort of thing. Nobody is being coerced either way to participate in BDS. Also, if BDS is wrong, why does it need laws to defend against it?

    Are Palestinians also allowed to be Americans? Allow to even talk about their dispossession without being accused of anti-semitism or “terrorism”? Allowed to be proud of their heritage?

    Israel isn’t always right-indeed I think it’s on a course of self-destruction not reconciling themselves with the Palestinians. If they would at least let Palestinians come home (those who want to) and give some sort of citizenship to the rest so they can be unstateless and have the option of going elsewhere, then half the resentment of the surrounding nations would lessen. Israel would be just another country.

    Perhaps its what Omar’s critics really fear. An Israel that’s just another country would no longer be Rapture Launch Pad #1, a reliable source of purchases for the military-industrial complex, and a reason to treat Muslims with disrespect and fear.

  165. 165
    dogwood says:

    Omar isn’t stupid. She knows a democratic woman in a hijab criticizing America’s long-standing stance on Israel will become a lightning rod. As far as I’m concerned she’s a free agent who can do as she pleases. Is it good politics? No. Will she gain some cult of personality fans? Sure. Will she be an asset for Republicans in the next election? Probably. It is what it is, and it is all very predictable.

  166. 166
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Raven Onthill: The ones who signed a letter of support for Ilhan Omar? The ones accusing her of anti-semitism? Please elaborate.

    Is there any wording a black, Muslim woman can use to point out modern-day policies that resemble those of apartheid South Africa that will make everyone on both sides of the aisle happy? Or is the point to get her to permanently shut up?

  167. 167

    @Wjs: many of these things are true. It is also true that the state of Israel is the sanctuary of a people that have been persecuted for over 1,000 years. It is, literally, the only state on earth where Jewish customs are the common culture.

    There are no good answers here, no happy ending. If there is to be peace in the region first people must be persuaded that peace is desirable and second there must be persuaded to make sacrifices. I don’t see the will for any of that. The last attempt was the Oslo Accords. The Israeli Prime Minister who made that agreement, Yitzhak Rabin, was shot down by an Israeli right-wing terrorist.

  168. 168
    Martin says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    Well except for the fact that a lot of people with an outsized “allegiance “ to Israel are not Jewish but evangelical Christians who hope to use Israel for their own escatalogical purposes which would be much to the detriment of the present inhabitants should their delusions be realized.

    A lot of politicians with an outsized allegiance to anything is more a function of fear of where campaign contributions will be redirected and who is going to call them “an anti-Semitic asshole” simply for asking that we have a actual policy around support for Israel rather than a reflexive “give them money or else you hate the jooz” system that we have now. Feel free to substitute the NRA, or any other Democratic or Republican sacred cow.

    It’s not healthy in a democracy to swear allegiance to anything other than the foundational values on which that democracy is based. As such, I tend to reject our own pledge of allegiance as while it makes passing reference to ‘for which it stands’, it does everything in its power to not dwell on what the nation actually stands for. I think the only honest argument I’ve heard in the last 20 years for our support of Israel is that we support Saudi Arabia, which is wrong, so we need to support Israel as a counterbalance. I’m all in favor of supporting Democracies like Israel, but it can’t be unconditional, any more than our support of the UK should be unconditional given the kinds of stupid shit they’re doing right now.

  169. 169
    Archon says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    Makes sense to me. I do think it’s appropriate to broaden this discussion out though with facts on the ground. The Israeli Prime Minister rebuking the duly elected President of the United States in Congress for having the gall to try to make a multi-lateral nuclear deal with Iran to avoid war begs the question. How do we voice our views as citizens of the United States that American and Israeli interests no longer align without being accused of antisemitism? If you are Jewish that might seem like an easy, even ridiculous question but I’m not and it would help if Jews set some guidelines on exactly how to talk about the issue.

  170. 170
    Betty Cracker says:

    @zzyzx: Great point — we’re all more on edge because things really are scarier now. A racist, sexist, xenophobic demagogue who is beloved by neo-Nazis is POTUS. Belligerent, bigoted nationalism is on the rise around the world. I remember reading the comments of a man who was in his local synagogue when the Nazi scum in Charlottesville marched past, chanting. Utterly chilling.

  171. 171
    Barbara says:

    @Tenar Arha: Thank you for that background. Of course, it is outrageous to condition employment or a government contract on willingness to toe any political line. The question is how to respond without making it “about” any specific political position. Mostly, I think Rep. Omar is inexperienced.

  172. 172
    StringOnAStick says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Yeah, I just wrote a screed to Perlmutter. I really liked the guy until he supported Seth Moulton’s attempt to oust Pelosi from the leadership chair; that rankles. Maybe he should take on Gardner and we find someone else here on the prettiest side of Denver?

  173. 173
    PJ says:

    @Raven Onthill: Rabin’s assassin was an American immigrant to Israel. Our country drives a lot of the craziness in Israel, no small part of which is the more than $3B we give them every year with few strings attached.

  174. 174
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    But it isn’t enough to support Israel with deeds. We must applaud. Everybody else can be criticized, even severely. They say, nobody else being criticized like Israel. But everywhere else shruggs off criticism or pays some attention and tries to do better. Nobody else, even autocracies like China and Russia, are trying to get laws passed saying its illegal to boycott or protest Russian and Chinese policy.

  175. 175
    ruemara says:

    @BobS I don’t give AF. Trolling as a metric of quality is the most ridiculous thing and is why I don’t give AF about Bernie. Why are you guys so easily pleased by bombast & rhetoric?!

    @Felanius Kootea: That last part. That’s what they want her to learn.

  176. 176

    @A Ghost To Most: “The constant effort to conflate anti-Israel with anti-Semitism doesn’t help.”

    True. It’s discouraging, and Omar’s remarks have brought out and empowered the people who make that claim.

    @ruemara: Since the word “antisemitism” was coined in the late 1800s, it has referred to Jew-hatred.

    @CarolDuhart2: “Are Palestinians also allowed to be Americans?” Yes, of course. It wouldn’t be the first time in US history that ethnic minorities have come into conflict. Still doesn’t excuse antisemitism.

  177. 177
    Wjs says:

    @Raven Onthill: Who receives your allegiance when the shan hits the fit?

  178. 178
    BobS says:

    @Martin: When you use the word ‘democracy’ to describe Israel, there should always be an asterisk.
    Would you feel comfortable describing the US as a democracy if the Constitution proclaimed we were a Christian nation and a condition of running for office was to accept that unconditionally, or if we had a law that stipulated Christian people “have an exclusive right to national self-determination”?

  179. 179
    Zzyzx says:

    @Archon: this came up yesterday and there’s an easy ( well as easy as anything is on this topic) answer.

    The problem is when people go Israeli Government -> Israel -> Jews. The Israeli population is as divided as ours and Netanyahu is having to do increasingly sketchy things to stay in power. Just keep the focus on where the problem is (e.g. “The Likud’s stance on settlements is awful and needs to be stopped!”) in the same way you would with our government (“The Trump administration’s push for a wall is stupid and needs to be fought!”)

    Better yet, try to focus on the division. Not only does it stop the conflation but it also is a strong argument against current policies that many people who live there want it to stop; “If this is such an obvious need, why can’t Likud convince more voters?”

    That’s my idea at least. Criticize the government. Don’t attack the country. NEVER go after Jews in general.

  180. 180
    opiejeanne says:

    @JPL: I’ve pushed on my Congresswoman a couple of times about this. It’s time to push on her again. She’s generally a good egg.

  181. 181
    Archon says:


    That makes sense, thank you.,

  182. 182
    ChrisH says:

    At this point I wouldn’t mind if the US completely cut Israel loose. I find the constant anti Islamic rhetoric against Omar far more important than some out of context word choice that seems problematic.

    Ironically the people constructing this strawman kind of prove even the strawman is true. “It’s terrible to say people give allegiance to Israel. Also support of Israel must never be questioned!”

  183. 183
    BobS says:

    @Zzyzx: It’s wrong to assume this is unique to Netanyahu and the Likud Party. Persecution of the Palestinians has been a project of the white European settlers prior to statehood and the Labor governments that ruled for most of the first 30 years.

  184. 184
    Dan B says:

    @Barbara: I hope that Ilhan Omar connects with my rep Pramila Jayapal. Jayapal built an organization that helped protect Sikhs, Indian Americans, and Muslims. It was a response to the racism / xenophobia of 9/11. Jayapal has experience in navigating minefields. Omar needs to address the issue or be defined by it.

    Pelosi needs to be cautious as well.

  185. 185
    eemom says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    Thank you for being a voice of sanity and reason who deserves a lot better than the brain dead responses you’ve been getting.

    Someone last night linked this amazing article which you should read if you haven’t already. Written in 2003 by a brilliant author who tragically died 3 years later, she could totally have been talking about these exact bullshit threads.

  186. 186
    eemom says:


    I think you’d like that article too.

  187. 187
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Barbara: I get that. And I really appreciate this point.

    I’m also pushing back because I believe she’s thoughtful and has studied up on these things. And that she’s being deliberately run through a gauntlet by the propagandists of the Wingnut Wurlitzer as well as some of the “friendly liberal-lite-bro” columnists who love smacking around SJW’s or the student left or just the concept of intersectional identity to prove their impartiality bonafides.

    I guess what I’m saying is I really don’t think she’s inexperienced or untutored. I think she knows exactly what she’s doing, and we’re all the ones being played.

    Maybe I’m reaching, but for me the best comparison is we’re all being “But her emails” only with “but her unconscious anti-semitism” so we can fight about that rather than the issue of the extreme influence of foreign lobbies she’s trying to highlight.

    ETA ~*reads next post*~ or what Adam just said in his latest post

  188. 188
    Zzyzx says:

    @BobS: then criticize other governments too. FDR made settlement camps for Japanese citizens. That deserves severe criticism. I’m not saying Labor == good and Likud == bad. “The Labor government did this awful thing in 1975” is also valid.

    However, if you can’t understand why Israel was created (understanding but thinking it did more harm that good or understanding but wishing it could be some other place that somehow would be the perfect spot (good luck with that) is fairer), then I’d ask you what your solution to the previous 2000 years of history would be.

  189. 189
    BobS says:

    @eemom: Quack, quack.

  190. 190
    Zzyzx says:

    @Dan B: my rep too and I love that she is so much. I always trust her instincts.

  191. 191
    BobS says:

    @Zzyzx: My solution wouldn’t include apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

  192. 192

    @PJ: “Rabin’s assassin was an American immigrant to Israel.” You sure of that? Wikipedia citing a New York Times article (, “was born in Herzliya to an Israeli Orthodox Yemenite Jewish family.”

    @eemom: Thanks for the support and the link!

  193. 193
    dnfree says:

    @opiejeanne: Happy birthday to your husband. He and I will be the same age for….oh, a month or so….and then I’m moving on.

    72 was a great year for subdividing my life into chapters, because 72 is divisible by so many numbers. I have mentally restructured my life by dozen-year portions, eight-year portions, nine-year portions, even 18-year portions. 73 won’t be nearly as much fun.

  194. 194

    @eemom: Huh, interesting read, thanks.

  195. 195
    Zzyzx says:

    @BobS: Great. What would it include?

  196. 196
    Dan B says:

    @germy: Thanks for this info about McCollum. I grew up with regular horror stories about the holocaust. It’s part of me. I wonder if the stories of IDF shooting rock throwing kids is a similar formative element for younger people.

    We had a Palestinian tenant / housemate for almost a year. He could only find places to rent from gay guys. It was the aftermath of 9/11, years after. Changed his views about gay men. Still his anger at jews was ugly and unyielding, especially when he was with Palestinian and Muslim friends.

    BTW many, if not most, Palestinians in the US are Christian. They were able to emigrate. Their antipathy to Israel is strong.

  197. 197
    BobS says:

    @Zzyzx: Defined borders. A single, democratic state (including the large Gaza concentration camp and West Bank) for all citizens without any religious test. Ending apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Right of return and reparations for the original inhabitants and their descendants (whose ancestors had actually lived there for hundreds of years, unlike the various European countries the colonizers came from). Ceding the illegal West Bank settlements to the Palestinians. Signing the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. A full accounting for the sustained attack on the American flag flying USS Liberty- boy, talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Ending the occupation of Syrian territory.
    Off the top of my head, I suppose that would be a start to ending outlaw nation status.

  198. 198
    Dan B says:

    @zzyzx: I’m feeling the same about travel. As a gay guy there are more countries that feel ass though things could go very wrong in a hurry. Poland is on the list. Their record of anti-Semitism is unnerving. A few days ago a huge banner was unfurled at a big Soccer match calling for stopping “faggots” from damaging Poland. Seems that prejudice against one group encourages prejudice against all.

    How will this play out in the US?

  199. 199
    geg6 says:


    That’s my idea at least. Criticize the government. Don’t attack the country. NEVER go after Jews in general.

    LOL, get real. I have voiced criticism of the government and of Likud, very carefully and without mentioning religion at all, and been told I’m antisemitic by a certain subgroup of people, some Jewish and some not. I’ve even run into a version of this very thing on this blog. Unless you say you are willing to blindly accept anything and everything Israel does or what Likud and other rightwing parties want, you are, ipso facto, Hitler, shoving them all in the ovens.

    I was over Israel at least a decade ago. Not because it’s mostly a Jewish country. But because it is an apartheid state and it’s lobbying arms, including AIPAC, are too powerful in my own country.

    And just for Mr. Cole, know that it’s not only the youngs that have a problem with Israel, it’s mouthpieces and it’s allies. I am now officially old (60) and, while a huge fan when I was young, I’ve had enough of them trying to control a large chunk of our foreign policy in a very volatile part of the world. And before I get screamed at, I feel exactly the same way about Saudi Arabia. They are both bad actors and should be shunned until they straighten up. If they don’t, good enough for me, too.

  200. 200
    germy says:

    The best way to prove that Israel doesn't influence US politician's actions and force them to show allegiance to Israel is for Israel to force US politicians to pass a resolution condemning Omar for saying Israel influences US politicians.

    — Susan of Texas (@SusanofTexas) March 4, 2019

  201. 201
    germy says:

    If I wanted to teach in Texas, I would have to sign a paper vowing obedience to Israel's command that nobody can protest their actions.

    — Susan of Texas (@SusanofTexas) March 4, 2019

  202. 202
    germy says:

    HOUSTON — The city of Dickinson, Texas, is requiring applicants for Hurricane Harvey rebuilding funds to certify in writing that they will not take part in a boycott of Israel. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the city’s condition as a violation of free speech rights.

  203. 203
    thalarctosMaritimus says:

    @eclare: We are, as well.

  204. 204
    BobS says:

    @germy: At least give them some credit for not requiring applicants to place a hand over their heart and pledge allegiance (there’s that word!) to the white and blue star and stripes.

  205. 205
    sherparick says:

    @Brickley Paiste: Except she isn’t. This is a ginned up outrage by the Republican Right to divide Democrats, something they are very good at. It should be remember that the long term plan of Republican Right is to trigger a thermonuclear war over Israel in order to speed the 2d Coming (see Pence, Mike.)

  206. 206
    Mike in DC says:

    What are they going to do when there are not 2, but 20 Muslim-American congresspersons all speaking their minds about US/Israeli policies?

  207. 207
    Darkrose says:

    @Zzyzx: Omar didn’t do that. She criticized AIPAC, and she referenced the idea that members of Congress—not Jews—are expected to act as though any criticism of the nation of Israel is not legitimate. The people conflating Jews with Israel are her critics.

  208. 208
    Exo says:


    Thank you. Israel murdered sailors aboard the USS Liberty, an act of war, but President Johnson didn’t have the guts to declare war on Israel and save the Palestinians.

  209. 209
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    and this black woman sometimes finds his wordplay to be entertaining.

    Likewise, well except for the black and woman parts, and I’m not sure about their gender, or motive. Find the technique/style interesting; it’s high-density. Watching one’s shifting emotional patterns while reading is instructive. That’s good practice in general; we all need to be seriously more aware of crafted emotion-driven manipulation. Including when we ourselves do it. (There are a few here who actively work to repair threads; they know who they are. :-)

Comments are closed.