Minnesota and Michigan Elect First Muslim-American Women to Congress: Times They Are A-Changin’
NOTE: I have published two reports at Middle East Eye on the campaign waged against Jeremy Corbyn claiming he is anti-Israel and anti-Semitic; or that the Labour Party he leads is guilty of these charges. My latest piece was published earlier today there. Please read and promote on social media.
Last week’s national elections brought victory to two candidates who represent a radical break with politics-as-usual. Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American woman, won the Detroit seat vacated by long-time African-American leader, John Conyers. Ilhan Omar a Somali-American woman won the seat vacated by Keith Ellison, who also won his primary race for state attorney general. They are both Muslim and women of color. I can’t emphasize enough how radical this development is. Their victories come on the heels of the earlier surprise defeat of Democratic Congressional leader, Joe Crowley by Alexandria Cortez-Otavio. Though they feel varying degrees of allegiance to Bernie Sanders, there is no doubt that they would not be where they are now without him pioneering a path through his own presidential primary campaign. Beyond this they of course owe nothing to him and will pursue their own paths.
Tlaib and Ohan have shaken the Israel Lobby and pro-Israel media which are reporting ominously that the latter called Israel an apartheid state. The word apartheid appears to be as freighted for the Lobby as the N-word is for the African-American community. Note, I said for the Israel Lobby, but not for Jews. Most American Jews, if they don’t believe Israel is an apartheid state, understand the concept and feel it is one that deserves debate and consideration, rather than obloquy.
In 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, during which hundreds of Gazans were killed by Israeli forces, Ilhan tweeted the following:
Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews. You are a hateful sad man, I pray to Allah you get the help you need and find happiness. https://t.co/SvEXjlxlEN
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 31, 2018
During the invasion she called it Israel’s “evil doings” and more recently, in response to a right-wing troll she called Israel “an apartheid regime.” If we were to go by the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism (which we are not) she might be called anti-Semitic. But this is not anti-Semitism. Ilhan has no hatred for Jews. Her hatred is for the bloodshed and violence perpetrated by the Israeli regime. In this, she is joined by progressives (including Jews) in this country and Israel as well.
Tlaib presents an even more striking example, because she sought and received an endorsement from J Street’s political action committee, which donated an unspecified amount to her campaign. The J Street PAC website doesn’t list any donation to her. But it does, oddly, list a $2,000 donation for the 2018 cycle to John Conyers, whose seat she is taking. There is more detailed campaign finance information for her campaign listed here.
Though J Street claims Tlaib supports a two-state solution and continuation of all forms of U.S. aid to Israel, she has either renounced those views or never held them to begin with. In two interviews (one with Channel Four and the other with In These Times) she explicitly endorsed a one-state solution, the Palestinian Right of Return, curtailing U.S. aid to Israel unless it satisfies human rights conditions, and the rights of Americans to support BDS.
J Street appears to have a great deal of egg on its face. It says it’s trying to “clarify” this matter. But this doesn’t look good for the liberal Zionist group which is often denigrated as “Aipac-lite.” This is the first time it has ever endorsed a Palestinian-American, and a Muslim to boot. It has not gone well for them and they have only themselves to blame. Did they think that Tlaib would be a “good” Arab, a Muslim Zionist? One of those obedient poodles who would toe the Party line in order to feed at the money trough?
Tlaib’s are some of the most radical views on the Israel-Palestine conflict ever to grace the halls of Congress. These views and her espousing them in Washington DC are a direct offense to the Israel Lobby. This is something they cannot let stand. No doubt, a prominent Jewish donor in her district who is also an Aipac board member will meet with her and read her the riot act. They will warn her that if she does not tone down this rhetoric they will find a “moderate” Black or Muslim-American candidate who will toe the line and find themselves the recipient of unlimited campaign cash in the next election.
After watching her TV interview, I find Tlaib to be a rough-hewn candidate. She is not smoothly articulate as some are. She repeats herself often, her arguments are sometimes muddled, and when she doesn’t like a question she manages to evade answering or answering obliquely. Either she will mature as a candidate and speaker or over time she will follow the path of least resistance trodden by others who began as insurgents and ended as captives of the Party élite.
In other words, she has begun her Congressional career with a bang. She promises to offer new ideas, shocking ideas, to an institution which is bound hand and foot to, and by the Israel Lobby. If she maintains these views, she could augur a revolution in Israel-Palestine discourse in national politics.
24 thoughts on “Minnesota and Michigan Elect First Muslim-American Women to Congress: Times They Are A-Changin’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Well. Here we go again.
“In 2012, during Operation Cast Lead, during which hundreds of Gazans were killed by Israeli forces, Ilhan tweeted the following”
Operation Cast Lead was in December 2008-January 2009, so it could not have triggered Illhan Omar’s ire in 2012.
What was Israel doing in November 2012, contemporaneous to Illhan Omar’s angry tweet?
October 6 – Israeli Air Force shot down a small UAV as it flew over northern Negev. Hezbollah confirmed it sent drone.
October 23 – In what was widely believed to be a long-range attack by the Israeli Air Force, an arms factory in Khartoum, Sudan, that was alleged to have participated in arms-smuggling to Hamas, exploded. The Israeli government refused to either confirm or deny its involvement.
November 11 – a 120 mm mortar shell exploded near an Israeli post in the Golan Heights. As a result, the Israel Defense Forces fired an anti-tank missile at the source of the bombardment in Syria.
November 12 – A second mortar shell from Syria has been fired at an Israeli military outpost in the Golan Heights. The Israel Defense Forces have responded with tank fire at the source of the bombardment in Syria, scoring several direct hits on artillery units belonging to the Syrian Army.
December 14 – Avigdor Lieberman resigns as Foreign Affairs Minister and as Deputy Prime Minister following an indictment for fraud. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes over the post of Foreign Minister, and announces that the Foreign Ministry will be held in reserve for Lieberman pending the outcome of his trial, with Lieberman allowed to resume his position as Foreign Minister if acquitted.
Not a lot of Israeli ‘hypnotizing’ or ‘evil doings’ going on in mid-November 2012.
Mostly, Israel was acting in self-defence.
Obviously Ms Omar has a lot of resentment toward the State of Israel and needs little prompting to set her off.
“Not a lot of Israeli beguiling going on in November 2012. Mostly acts of self-defence.”
You’re in such a hurry to be first to comment, Barbarian, that you just skip from November 12th to December 14th, right ?
On November 14 2012 the Operation Pillar of Defense (no wonder Richard mixed them up, there are so many ‘operations’ that we hardly can’t follow …..) officiailly started by the killing of Ahmad Jabari, but if you follow what’s happening in Palestine, you know that in the days before, many Palestinian civilians were killed, among them, a 9 or 10-years old kid playing football in front of his house, and a few days later, another group of teenagers were bombed while playing football, two died, and two died later when they were bombed again, feel free to ask for more informations ….
According to the UN Human Rights Council, 174 Palestinians were killed during the week-long bombing, at least 107 were civilians, that include 10 members of the Dalou family, six kids, three women, the only survivors were the grand-dad and his teenage son who’d gone out to look for provisions (I’m pretty sure you can find Richard’s article on the mass-murder).
It’s f****** boring ALWAYS to see your shitty hasbara first here !
PS. On a sidenote, Richard, do you know that the article on Corbyn is not on your website any longer ? I know I can read it on MME, but Elisabeth posted a link to an article here. It’s not that important, just in case you don’t know.
Operation Pillar of Defence was launched in response to severe rocket attacks launched from Gaza at Israeli civilian targets.
In November 2012, Ms Omar was apparently unmoved by the plight of Israeli civilians suffering under rocket attacks.
Can’t say I am impressed by their ‘plight’ either. Some flying glass, and people treated for ‘shock’. And usually such rocket attacks from Gaza follow severe provocation by Israel.
@Frank: we’re all deeply moved by the suffering of Israeli Jews who can’t attend summer camps, as Miri Regev so plaintively noted a few days ago.
Six to ten times more Palestinians are killed than Israelis. So I’m sure you don’t mind if I offer Palestinians 6 to 10 tines more solace for their suffering.
Oh Frankieboy, so 10 hours ago you stated that nothing really happened in November 2012, and now you just know everything about the chronology of the events …..
The plight of Israeli civilians AND domestic animals, don’t forget that: in NOvember 2012 Israelis were discussing on Facebook about their pets’ trauma …..
PS. No sane person use J Post as a source.
By the way, Deir Yassin, It is remarkable that THE DAY AFTER THE MURDER, the Tunesian Ministry of Internal Affairs of the time denied that ‘political motives’ were behing the murder of Robert-Jan Akkerman, They furthermore promised a thorough investigation. Somehow that order seems to be the reverse of what one would expect. Nothing came of the ‘thorough investigation’. Now that the regime has changed in Tunesia, it might be a good time to ask more questions.
Yes, I think someone should push for that case to be opened again, but I’m most of all astonished that there seems to have been very little coverage in the Dutch press about the killing, I’ve regularly asked Dutch people that I’ve come across, nobody ever heard of this story.
I had not heard of it either. I do know where to press for some attention to this matter, and I will do so.
@ Deir Yassin: Thanks for catching my error. You’re absolutely right: there are so many of these damn Israeli invasions I can’t keep the names straight sometimes. They all blend into each other with virtually the same result: thousands of Gazan dead and no change in Israel’s relations with Gaza.
[Comment deleted: Don’t publish another comment here till you read the comment rules. Tthen memorize them. Then follow them.
First, your comment was off-topic. Second it was guilty of “whataboutism.” We’re not addressing Somalia here. I know that you’re a devout himanitarianwho cares about all the world’s ills equally. If Somalia is your special interest there are other avenues for you to do so. This isn’t one of them.
Finally, Omar doesn’t owe you an explanation or defence of her concerns.]
So true. When will we hear you criticize Israel for once, Frank.
people like mr frank are prone to be near sighted mostly because they can see the toothpick in the other person’s eye but not the telephone pole stuck in his eye
@Elisabeth: to criticize Israel he has to get special dispensation from his Hasbara instructor.
Why do you allow Deir Yassin to insult me by calling me ‘Frankie boy’.?
I’m not punking anyone here, so why allow Dier Yassin to punk me?
“Omar doesn’t owe you an explanation or defence of her concerns.”
Citizen Omar doesn’t owe me a damn thing, Congressman Omar works for me and she owes me quite a bit more.
‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’.
@ Frank: Your name isn’t ‘Frank.’ So why do you object to being called “Frankie Boy?” In fact, calling you that was my doing I’m afraid. I normally wouldn’t do it. But when you insult our intelligence as you do I’m afraid I can’t help myself. Try to upgrade the quality of your comments so we can accord you the respect you feel you deserve.
First of all. You haven’t established that you live in her district. In fact, your IP address resolves to New Zealand. So either you’re lying or you’re using an IP proxy server. But even if you lived in her district, she isn’t your slave. If you don’t like what she believes don’t vote for her. Hell, run against her. She’ll whup your ass and that will be the end of it.
Your e mail address is fake as well.
If I find you telling any more lies here you won’t get anywhere near the heat. You’ll be out in the cold.
You are done in this thread. Do not publish another comment here. And do not publish any more than three comments in any 24 hour period. Another comment rule I’m invoking for you.
I don’t get the N-word example!
The N-word is a slur which became so through time. Apartheid is supposed to be descriptive of current Israeli behavior. So comparing it to a hateful word seems to mean anyone who uses apartheid is actually wrong. I believe Richard don’t belive that.
@Josh: Reading comprehension and understanding nuance aren’t your strong suits, Joshie. The word apartheid is considered a curse word by the Lobby, equivalent to an ethnic slur. My analogy had nothing to do with the actual descriptive meaning of the term in the Israeli context, except to say that it is accurate.,
So if someone believes N-word describes accurately a person it is ok to use it?
Your insults don’t show wisdom, just violence.
@ Joshie: I’m going to give today’s Inane Comment of the Day Award to you. No more comments in this thread.
As the previous article I commented on was deleted by Richard (probably realizing Corbyn did exactly what ppl say he did etc), I’ll comment on this one.
There’s no problem with electing muslims for any office. There is a problem when these people are claiming bogus claims about apartheid in Israel etc, which is just false and idiotic. She is anti-Israeli, which is her right. But we can be anti-her in return and that’s fine too, if we believe she is lying, misleading or just being plain ignorant of malicious.
Refugee title doesn’t get passed down from father to son. If it was so, then I am a double, triple, quadruple refugee. But my family evolved and did not decide to stay in that status.
She needs to start dealing with her local issues if she wants to stay in her positions.
@ L.E.: For the 100th time: if you are going to dispute my posts read EVERY LINK IN THE POST BEFORE commenting. If you had done this you would’ve realized what Elisabeth did–that the former post is now published (in slightly different format) at Middle East Eye. I will republish it here in a few days. But I want to give it maximum exposure at the MEE site before I do that. You can post any comment you want there.
“Muslim” is a religion. As such it is capitalized in the English language. Not capitalizing the word is a sign of disrespect, which I will not permit here.
You have just violated another comment rule: DO NOT publish your opinions here as established fact. They aren’t. They are unfounded, worthless opinions. If you have such an opinion on a disputed subject offer credible sources to support your claims. If you don’t, we will consider every word you utter to be worth a bucket of warm piss. In fact, claims of apartheid associated with Israel are well-founded and Israel’s political class reinforces that virtually every day.
No, she isn’t. She opposes Israeli policies. That is different.
No, in fact you can’t do that here. You could if you could prove it was true, which you haven’t. So if you make such baseless claims again you’ll be moderated. Then you won’t be making comments here unless they respect the comment rules.
No, not from father to son. That would be sexist. But refugee status is indeed passed from generation to generation as U.S. State Department and UN policy acknowledges. You’d know that if you’d bother reading a post I published here in which I supported this claim with a credible source.
Whatever evolution your family experienced apparently didn’t pass any human decency to you. Unfortunately.
You are on notice. Read and follow the comment rules.
[Comment deleted: you have been moderated. Your snark earned it. Only comments following comment rules will be published.]
[comment deleted: before you publish a comment there is a clear warning directing you to read the comment rules, which you haven’t done. Regurgitating Zionist propaganda and past history is boring as shit. All this, and the points you’ve tried to raise have been debated here and elsewhere ad nauseam. This is not a venue for spouting slogans and propaganda. It’s a venue for discussion based on argument, facts, sources, etc. If you want to cheer for your team, go to a soccer match.]