It isn’t just about ‘the Benjamins’, Ilhan | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

It isn’t just about ‘the Benjamins’, Ilhan

Newly-elected Ilhan Omar isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and smack issues in the face, stirring up a hornet’s nest of angry reaction from Republicans and Democrats alike. The Minnesota Congresswoman, one of two Muslim women now in the US House of Representatives, stepped into controversy this week when she responded to a tweet by journalist Glenn Greenwald.

The co-founder of the online newspaper The Intercept is perhaps best known for his writings on Edward Snowden, the former CIA whistle blower. Greenwald criticised California’s Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy who demanded that his colleagues censor Omar and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for their powerful criticism of Israel which, lest we forget, is a foreign country.

“GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel,” wrote Greenwald. “It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.”

That prompted Omar to respond, also on Twitter: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” was a reference to the money that Israel, its lobby and its supporters pour into the political coffers of elected officials like McCarthy. “Benjamin” is slang for a $100 bill, which has a picture of Benjamin Franklin on it.

Immediately, McCarthy and other blindly pro-Israel shills began denouncing Omar, claiming that any reference to “Jews” and “money” is anti-Semitic. To make it worse, the biased mainstream US news media, including CNN and the Washington Post, reported the story from the negative aspect of anti-Semitism rather than exploring the reality of how much pro-Israel money backs many leading Congressmen and women, and Senators.