Congress criticises Ihlan Omar’s words, but remains silent about Israel’s violence | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Congress criticises Ihlan Omar’s words, but remains silent about Israel’s violence

The obsession with US Congresswoman Ihlan Omar’s criticism of Israeli influence over American politics really is unique. And what makes this debate genuinely immoral is that it focuses on Omar’s words but ignores the killing and oppression of Palestinian civilians by Israel.

The Minnesota Congresswoman has been pilloried over the past few weeks for criticising members of Congress who take money from pro-Israel Political Action Committees (PACs) in exchange for political support for Israeli policies. Omar has also highlighted the ugly tendency for many pro-Israel activists and politicians to have an apparently greater loyalty to Israel, a foreign country, than they do to the United States.

As a journalist for nearly half century, I know it is a reality that PACs donate millions to congressmen and women specifically to influence their votes. So why is Omar’s legitimate criticism of donations by supporters of a foreign country, Israel, denounced viciously by Republicans and Democrats alike as an “an anti-Semitic trope”? This is the quid-pro-quo: literally, “something for something”. Translated from Latin into US politics it comes up as, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”.

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