February 11, 2019
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement in response to Representative Ilhan Omar’s latest anti-Semitic tweets:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) condemns Rep. Ilhan Omar’s latest anti-Semitic tweets. Claims that American Jews manipulate our government with money invoke age-old anti-Semitism. When combined with her previous tweet that Israel ‘hypnotizes the world’ to carry out ‘evil,’ such rhetoric puts our community in danger, should have no place in our politics, and undermines efforts to achieve
“It is also insulting to Rep. Omar’s colleagues for the Congresswoman to falsely suggest that elected officials only support Israel because they are paid to do so. For decades, members from both parties have stood with America’s closest ally in the Middle East because the American people support a strong and secure Israel.
“Our rebuke of Rep. Omar’s egregious claims is consistent with the swift response of our colleagues and leaders from across the political spectrum. We completely agree with Ambassador Dan Shapiro that Rep. Omar’s ‘outrageous comments equating politicians’ support for Israel with being bought off by American Jewish money are a vile anti-Semitic trope. They need to be condemned by all in our party.’
“Similarly, we also agree with Congressman Max Rose, a freshman Democrat from New York, who responded that ‘Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews,’ as well as that of the Jewish Democratic Council of America which tweeted ‘[e]nough is enough with the anti-Semitic tropes’ and Batya Ungar-Sargon, the progressive editor of the Forward, who tweeted ‘[p]lease learn how to talk about Jews in a non-anti-Semitic way.’
“We also greatly appreciate the vocal solidarity of Chelsea Clinton, who spoke for so many non-Jewish allies when she tweeted ‘[w]e should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.’ The JCRC strongly encourages other voices, both within Minnesota and nationally, to demonstrate the same leadership. As seen here, but also with the ongoing anti-Semitic attacks on George Soros and HIAS, anti-Semitism has infected our politics on both the political left and right. It must be condemned by all no matter the source.
“The freedom to petition our government is foundational to American democracy. This constitutional guarantee is not suspended for American Jews or any other citizen who on their own or by organizing with others speaks out in support of a strong United States relationship with Israel.
“As the public affairs voice for the Jewish community of Minnesota and the Dakotas, the JCRC remains committed to speaking out against anti-Semitism and in defense of Jewish self-determination in our ancestral homeland. We look forward to continuing our work with all of the members of our Congressional delegations, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, to communicate our community’s perspectives and values.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.