Photo: Getty Minnesota Congresswoman-elected Ilhan Omar is catching heat for saying she supports BDS, a move to boycott, divest, and…
Minnesota Congresswoman-elected Ilhan Omar is catching heat for saying she supports BDS, a move to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel, which some critics say is a reversal to earlier statements she made while campaigning.
For those unfamiliar with BDS, the movement says it aims to end “international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.” The movement considers Israel an apartheid state-a view shared by none other than the United Nations in a 201
Last week, in a blog posted to Muslim Girl (h / t WCCO-TV), Omar’s staff confirmed that she “believes in and supports” the BDS movement. Some-especially members of the Minneapolis Jewish community found the comments divergent from Omar’s previously stated position.
As WCCO-TV explains, Omar, ahead of the primary, said the BDS movement was “not helpful” in achieving a two -state solution, which Omar supports.
Omar spoke to Jewish community leaders at a St. Louis Park Synagogue in August. Here’s how that conversation went, according to the Star Tribune:
Omar said she supported a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestinian conflict and that the BDS movement was not helpful in trying to achieve that goal. Pressed by moderator Mary Lahammer to specify “exactly where you stand on that,” Omar replied that the BDS movement was “counteractive” because it stopped both sides from coming together for “a conversation about how that’s going to be possible.”
However, according to one reporter, Omar herself confirmed her position in a text message saying that her attitude to Israel has always been the same.
“I believe and supports [sic] the BDS movement, and have fought to make Sure mennesker rett til at støtte det er ikke kriminaliseret, “siger teksten, der henviser til en anti-BDS bill Omar voted against. “I do however have reservations about the effectiveness of the movement in achieving a lasting solution.”
Israel has received increasing international criticism for its draconian policies and state -sanctioned violence-towards the Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists, including a controversial 2017 law that barred BDS supporters from even entering the country. This week alone, Israel launched a fierce air attack on the Gaza border, killing at least seven Palestinians. Rockets were also launched from Gaza, wounding dozens and killing a Palestinian laborer, Reuters reports.
But pro-Israel groups say BDS denies Israel’s “right to exist,” making support for BDS and a two-state solution impossible. Other critics of Omar say the congresswoman-elect deliberately misled Jewish voters in the run-up to her election, leading them to believe she did not support BDS in either their tactics or mission.
Coloring this conversation-and the intense focus on Omar’s attitude, specifically-is her Muslim background. Omar is not just the first Muslim woman elected to Congress (alongside Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib) -she is the first and only black Muslim woman.
Imraan Siddiqi, an Arizona-based civil rights activist, noted that Omar had similarly called out a Muslim nation Saudi Arabia, for its role in massacres in Yemen and the murder of Washington post reporter Jamal Khashoggi.
“If boycotting based on human rights violations makes her anti-Semitic, then boycotting Saudi based on human rights violations make Islamophobic too, “he wrote.
Omar is one of the faces of the Democrats’ new” freshman “class, which has made golven voor zijn gender en raciale diversiteit, evenals zijn progressieve politiek. Two of Omar’s peers, congresswoman-elect Tlaib and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have been similarly critical of Israel.