Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) — elected to the House during the November 2018 midterms — posted a series of tweets on Sunday that influencers on both sides of the aisle quickly and roundly condemned as anti-Semitic.
Omar’s initial tweet that prompted an avalanche of condemnation from figures as disparate as Chelsea Clinton, Nikki Haley, and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro suggested that the GOP’s support of Israel was driven by money.
“It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” Omar wrote on Sunday, appending a musical note symbol.
“Benjamins” here appears, among other things, to be a reference to lyrics from a 1997 Puff Daddy rap song.
It’s all about the Benjamins baby https://t.co/KatcXJnZLV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 10, 2019
Omar’s tweet was in response to a note from journalist Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept.
Greenwald’s own tweet seemed to accuse House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) of sacrificing Omar’s and her colleague Rashida Tlaib’s (D-Mich.) First Amendment rights for the sake of defending Israel.
“GOP leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time U.S. political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking [the] free speech rights of Americans,” Greenwald tweeted over the weekend.
He then attached a link to an article in Haaretz that described McCarthy’s intentions to hold Omar and Tlaib to account if their Democrat colleagues failed to do so.
Omar is one of two newly elected Muslim women serving in the House; Tlaib is the other. Both have come under fire recently for their alleged anti-Semitism.
Related: Omar Needs to Understand Our Country More Before She Seeks to Change It
“If they do not take action I think you’ll see action from myself,” McCarthy told reporters on Friday, as multiple outlets reported. “This cannot sustain itself. It’s unacceptable in this country,” he also said.
“When they stay silent they’re just as guilty,” McCarthy said about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders who have failed to condemn Omar and Tlaib, as Roll Call noted.
Omar doubled down on her Israel-related remarks in a one-word tweet afterward that spoke volumes: “AIPAC,” she wrote.
AIPAC stands for American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group.
Batya Ungar-Sargon of the Forward had chastised Omar for her repeated anti-Semitic tropes and asked whom Omar thought was paying off American politicians’ support of Israel.
— Ilhan Omar …