President Trump, a defender of the “very fine people,” anti-Semitic white supremacists who marched through Charlottesville, Va., called for her resignation. Leading Democratic and Republican Party officials denounced her. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned Omar’s tweet and issued a statement that read in part, “We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel in Congress because we understand that our support is based on shared values and strategic interests [emphasis added].”
While Pelosi’s statement referenced protecting free speech and the right to debate and critique Israeli and U.S. policies, the entire capitalist political establishment has attacked Omar for her tweets. The assault on Omar is not so much for the form of her remarks, but as an effort to delegitimize the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions campaign, its supporters and the growing movement in support of Palestinian liberation.
The media and the political establishment have not made nearly as much of the truly anti-Semitic remarks of Kevin McCarthy, the current House minority leader, in the days before the 2018 elections. McCarthy tweeted that George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, three Jewish billionaires, were trying to buy the elections in late October 2018.
Omar has been attacked as anti-Semitic for saying AIPAC buys support for the state of Israel. Jewish Voice for Peace, an anti-Zionist Jewish organization, issued a statement in support of Omar, which read in part:
…when Congresswoman Ilhan Omar criticized AIPAC for behaving like any other powerful lobby, Trump has the audacity to feign concern over antisemitism?
We don’t buy it. Ilhan Omar supports our Constitutional right to boycott, and she criticizes Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. The sustained attacks on her are in large part fueled by racism and Islamophobia.
The greatest fear of the Israeli leadership and its Zionist supporters in the United States is that the state of Israel becomes a rogue state in the eyes of the people of the United States. When Nancy Pelosi talks about shared strategic interests, she isn’t talking about concern for Jewish people or fighting anti-Semitism. She is talking about a shared desire to maintain the imperialist domination of the Middle East and control of the region’s oil.
The vision of a Jewish-only state by its Zionist founders was always predicated on the subjugation of the indigenous Palestinian people. From Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, who was an admirer of the British racist and colonizer Cecil Rhodes to David Ben-Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Zionism’s proponents saw the presence of Palestinian people in what became Israel as an obstacle to their racist vision of the exclusivist state. The use of terror from the establishment of the state Israel to continued use of collective punishment against resistance in the Occupied Territories, is at the core of Israeli policy and actions.
Using the charge of anti-Semitism against anyone who criticizes Israel has been the standing practice of Israeli politicians, Zionist organizations and supporters to prevent the people of the United States from seeing Israel for what it is, a racist settler state. The BDS movement draws parallels to the just cause of the South African people in their use of BDS to bring down the apartheid South African government. Making connections between the liberation of the South African and Palestinian people is one of the great fears of the Zionists as it would delegitimize the state of Israel.
There is growing awareness in the United States of the crimes of the Israeli state and greater sympathy for the Palestinian people as witnessed in the elections of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. For those courageous people who stand up for the Palestinian people, like Ilhan Omar and Marc Lamont Hill, the CNN analyst who lost his job for defending Palestinian liberation, they feel the wrath of the capitalist political establishment, the corporate media and the Zionist propaganda machine. They also receive the solidarity and admiration of the people the world over fighting against imperialism and capitalist exploitation.