A slap in the face of America’s ‘Israel Lobby’

11:01 . 10/03/2019 Sunday

Abdullah Muradoğlu

Abdullah Muradoğlu graduated from Marmara University’s public administration and political science program in Istanbul. He has been active in the press and media for more than 15 years. Since 1997, he has written myriad exclusive reports, research articles, interviews, history pages, and columns for Yeni Şafak. He was deemed worthy of an award by the Journalists Association of Turkey in the 2004 Turkey Journalism Achievement Awards. He has published four biographical books and held various positions in non-governmental organizations.

Abdullah Muradoğlu

One of the Muslim representatives of the U.S. Congress, Ilhan Omar, became the target of a smearing campaign since she “dared” to criticize the “Israel Lobby”. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, of Somalian and Palestinian descent respectively, were declared as “unwanted” by the Israel Lobby, Christian Zionists and pro-Israel Republicans. However, Omar and Talib are strongly supported by the Democratic Party establishment. The Israel Lobby and Trump, on the other hand, demanded the removal of Omar from the Foreign Relations Committee.

Ilhan Omar is accused of being anti-Semitic since she criticized the influence of the Israel Lobby over American politics, primarily of the “AIPAC” (American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee). However, Omar sees fossil fuel, weapons, and drugs industry lobbies within the same category as well. Young Democrats also agree that lobbies carry a toxic effect on politics. By accusing some elements of the Israel Lobby of “double loyalty” Omar set the cat among the pigeons. The lobby took action to get a congress decision against Omar.

According to the Democrat Senators who are running for candidacy in the 2020 Presidential Elections, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris, the smearing campaign against Omar is actually aiming to silence all criticism against Israel. All three backed Omar by stating that political criticism and anti-Semitism are different things. Many Jewish intellectuals, including the famous author Naomi Klein, declared their support for Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. Many Jewish NGOs signed the joint declaration. In the text, it was stated that “As Jews who are part of a tradition of social justice and anti-racism for a long time, the AIPAC doesn’t represent us”. In the text, it was also stated that criticizing Israel in the Congress is a taboo and since she showed the courage to break this taboo, they thanked Ilhan Omar.

Upon the pressures from the lobby, the “Democrat Leadership” who control the House of Representatives started an initiative. First, they prepared a four-page text. It included the condemnation of anti-Semitism without directly mentioning Ilhan Omar’s name. This text was going to be voted on as expected this Wednesday. However, one of the new stars of the Democrat Party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said that not including racist attacks against “Latinos” and other groups was a double standard. Upon her objection, the voting was postponed.

The “Black”, “Hispanic (Latino)”, and “Progressive” members of the parliament also objected the text. These groups, who represent the body of the Democratic Party, demanded the condemnation of the racist attacks against Asian, African, and Hispanic Americans as well as against Islam and other beliefs. Upon this, after observing the demands of the objectors a new seven-page text was drafted. This text was accepted by a large majority on Thursday, while only 23 of the Republicans voted “no”. These 23 only wanted to condemn anti-Semitism.

“World Jewish Congress (WJC)” and “Zionist Organization of America”, on the other hand, condemned the decision of the Congress. Trump too criticized the decision by saying “The Democrats have become an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish party and it is very bad.”

The Israel Lobby’s initiative to lynch Ilhan Omar backfired. Omar came out from this campaign even stronger. Ilhan Omar’s side who dubbed the Congress resolution as “historical” for various reasons said that “For the first time, we voted for a decision condemning anti-Muslim bigotry”. The politicians who say, “Questioning the U.S.-Israel relations is unacceptable”, on the other hand, took a great hit. This development that took place in the Congress shows how strong the new current in the Democratic Party is and that they may even change the course of U.S.-Israel relations in the future. With this decision also the veil of mystery surrounding the Israel Lobby was also lifted.

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