Rep. Omar out of line with remarks

March 12, 2019 GMT

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s statements about Israel and US support created a crisis in Congress this week that resulted in Resolution 183 “Condemning anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and condemning anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States.”

Rep. Omar, since entering Congress in January has on multiple occasions made some inflammatory remarks accusing US Jewish supporters of buying political support, through AIPAC, accusing US Jews of dual loyalty and expressing concern that she has been pressured to pledge loyalty to Israel in order to hold a position on the Foreign Relations Committee. She also has stated that she supports BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.

House Leadership in both parties wanted an immediate strong resolution censuring Omar for her offensive speech but the Democratic leadership soon found itself mired in heated discussions with new members who took exception to denouncing anti-Semitic remarks without including bigotry of all kinds. The result was a resolution which did not mention Omar by name, but includes in its nine resolutions very clear condemnations of anti-Semitic stereotypes, myth of dual loyalty and false charges of foreign allegiance as it relates to the United States-Israel alliance. The correlation of the wording of the resolutions with Omar’s remarks is no coincidence — it was clearly a rebuke to her claims and statements.

Stephan Lesher defended Rep. Omar in his “Where I Stand” article published just before the House Resolution. His defense is a distortion of the facts as he makes the false claims that she had to swear allegiance to Israel to serve on the Foreign Affairs committee, and that it is AIPAC that demands dual loyalty of members of Congress in its strong support of our ally Israel and its opposition to BDS. Christians United for Israel actively supports Israel and polls show the American public strongly supports the strategic relationship between our two countries. Lesher believes that BDS is aimed at ending Israel’s presence in the West Bank and in guarding Palestinian human rights, but the real target is the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jews, as pronounced openly by its co-founder Omar Barghouti.

Finally, Lesher goes on to condemn Israel for its defense of its borders with Gaza, which under Hamas has fired rockets at Israel, dug tunnels under the border, started fires in Israel which burned thousands of acres of agricultural land and used civilian protestors to give their terrorists cover to create smoke screens and throw fire bombs at the IDF with the hope of breaking through.

If Hamas terrorists break through the border, one can be sure that it would result in murderous acts against Israeli civilians. Israel has the right to defend itself against these attacks which regrettably result in injuries to civilians and provide video footage to be used against the IDF.

Bert Boyson is a resident of Southbury.