Thank You, Representative Ilhan Omar

As a congressional representative, Ilhan Omar has masterfully manipulated American freedom in order to make anti-Semitism a more accepted idea.  She has admirably done the work of the Muslim Brotherhood in normalizing anti-Semitism in the land of the free.  By cloaking the evil as merely an expression of her freedom of speech, she has removed the "racist portrayal of Jews from the neo-Nazi fringe into the mainstream."  She has mastered the art of psychological warfare as she couples "Muslim anti-Semitism with the American left's vague notion of 'social justice.'"  She has shown her bona fides as a representative of the jihad on free speech while vigorously claiming this vital freedom.

As Ayaan Hirsi Ali notes, Omar hails from Somalia, where anti-Semitism is taught at an early age.  Thus, she was taught that to destroy the Jews, the Zionists, and the state of Israel is a worthy goal.  Religious teaching is coupled with the political narrative where jihad is the solution to all the ills of the Muslim world.  In addition, there is very little freedom of expression in Muslim-majority countries, and the state-owned media propagate daily expressions of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda.  Everything is tainted with this hatred, from the mosques to the Islamic college campuses.  Refugee camps are another "zone of indoctrination."

Omar asserts that American Jews have a dual loyalty that should make them suspect.  This anti-Semitic meme has been used since time immemorial to besmirch Jews and to cast aspersions upon them.  Then there is the "all about the Benjamins, baby" statement, which revives the stereotype of Jews using their money and influence to pressure those in power to advance the interests of a foreign nation over their own.

In fact, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali points out, it is ironic that the "resources available to propagate Islamist ideologies, with their attendant anti-Semitism, vastly exceed what pro-Israel groups spend in the U.S."  In fact, "Saudi Arabia has spent vast sums with estimates of as high as $100 billion to spread their fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam abroad."

Yet Omar amplifies that she wants "to talk about the [Jewish] political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country."

Interesting projection, since it is actually Ilhan Omar who is using her political influence to usher in the principles of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group ardently devoted to infiltrating and ultimately destroying America.  Almost a decade ago, the Center for Security Policy issued "Shariah: The Threat to America," which explained the political, religious, social, and economic operative goals required to secure ultimate Islamic domination of the West.  They include "establishing an effective and stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood; adopting Muslims' causes domestically and globally; expanding the observant Muslim base; unifying and directing Muslims' efforts; presenting Islam as a civilization alternative supporting the establishment of the global Islamic State wherever it is" (page 277).

Revulsion of the Jew and hatred of Western liberty and freedom are integral components of this desire to establish a global caliphate.

Now Omar is ramping up the hate by using the national platform to engage in the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign that seeks the ultimate destruction of Israel.  As David French has stated, "the resolution itself is clever.  It doesn't mention Israel, and is crafted as an ode to free speech."  But the fundamental truth about the BDS movement is that it is "anti-Semitic in its intent and effect."

Josh Hammer asserts that Omar compares "the genocidal BDS campaign which seeks the annihilation of the state of Israel and the tossing of all the [Jews into the Mediterranean Sea], to the lineage of proud American boycotting that dates all the way back to the Boston Tea Party itself."  To do this, she lies about the "free, liberalized, and pluralistic state of Israel and compares it to genocidal Nazi Germany, the gulag state that was the Soviet Union and apartheid South Africa alike."

In fact:

Criticizing Israel does not necessarily make someone anti-Semitic.  The determining factor is the intent and content of the [speaker].  Legitimate critics accept Israel's right to exist, whereas anti-Semites do not.  Anti-Semites use double standards when they criticize Israel, for example, denying Israelis the right to pursue their legitimate claims while encouraging the Palestinians to do so.  Anti-Semites deny Israel the right to defend itself, and ignore Jewish victims, while blaming Israel for pursuing their murderers.  Anti-Semites rarely, if ever, make positive statements about Israel.  Anti-Semites describe Israelis [by] using pejorative terms and hate speech, suggesting, for example, that they are "racists" or "Nazis."

But the BDS campaign targets Israel's right to exist.  It opposes coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.  BDS puts Palestinians, Israeli Arabs, and Israeli Jewish jobs at risk.  BDS also puts many American jobs at risk.  Consider that "[d]irect Israeli investment in the U.S. totaled approximately $11.9 billion in 2017.  U.S. exports to Israel support an estimated 75,000 American jobs and Israeli owned companies provide an additional estimated 20,000 jobs to U.S. workers."  What hurts Israel economically hurts America as well.  Actually, BDS is a lineal descendant of the Arab League boycott, begun in 1948 and still in existence.

Consider, for example, how Ireland's BDS bill will harm Israeli and American tech giants.  As Alexander Titus notes, "Ireland is home to corporate offices and subsidiaries of Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft."  Thus, these "tech companies would be forced to either violate U.S. law or the new Irish law since an American company cannot legally participate in a boycott that is not backed by the U.S. government."

How ironic that the Irish BDS would mean that "buying a souvenir from a Jewish trader or taking a tour with a Jewish tour guide could land an [Irish Catholic] with a criminal record and punishments befitting that of a class A drugs smuggler."

Finally, is, as Omar claims, the BDS movement constitutionally secured by the First Amendment?  The answer is a resounding "no."

Josh Hammer writes that "[a]s law professor and constitutional law expert Eugene Kontorovich explained in The Washington Post in 2017, it is the 'distinction between ... expression and ... commercial conduct' that makes all the constitutional difference in the world."

Thus, as Kontorovich explained in a July 2017 article

This distinction between the expression and the commercial conduct is crucial to the constitutionality of civil rights acts.  In the United States, hate speech is constitutionally protected.  However, if a KKK member places his constitutionally protected expression of racial hatred within the context of a commercial transaction — for example, by publishing a 'For Sale' notice that says that he will not sell his house to Jews or African Americans — it loses its constitutional protection.

Hammer points out that "[t]hese provisions were not initially written with Israel in mind, but they are statutorily agnostic as to the target of the boycott."  He goes on to assert:

[T]he U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Rumsfeld v. FAIR that an institutional entity's refusal to do business based on national origin is not an inherently expressive activity that is protected under the First Amendment.  As Kontorovich aptly phrased it: 'It is only the boycotter's explanation of the action that sends a message, not the actual business conduct.  Those expressions of views are protected, but they do not immunize the underlying economic conduct from regulation.'  Under properly drafted anti-BDS statutes, such as the bill passed earlier this year by the U.S. Senate, individuals remain free to express their opposition to Israel through whichever convenient means they'd like to channel in order to do so.  Instead, it is merely an entity's economic discrimination based on national origin that is not covered by the First Amendment.  And under Rumsfeld and other applicable Supreme Court precedent, institutional boycotts against Israel are legally treated as economic action — and not as First Amendment–protected speech.

To put it simply, an individual can choose to purchase or not purchase a product from a country.  But as Hammer asserts, "to the extent Omar's resolution seeks to 'affirm' an institutional entity's 'right' to economically discriminate based on national origin, she is dead wrong on the law."  In fact, "the anti-Semitic BDS movement advocates illegal discrimination."  Conversely, anti-BDS laws are perfectly constitutional and do not impede freedom of speech.

Thus, Omar is dead wrong on the law, but clearly, this will not stop her hatred, and the jihadist infiltration will continue.

Eileen can be reached at

Image: Leopaltik via Wikimedia Commons.

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