By: James Simpson | PJ Media
Ilhan Omar (D-MN), along with her comrades Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), has gotten a lot of press since winning a seat in Congress. Despite her non-apology for bigoted, anti-Semitic statements she made earlier this month, Omar remains a virulent anti-Semite. But it is much worse than that: In addition to likely criminality, her extreme Left positions and connections to terrorists make her a security risk.
Some have demanded she be removed from the House Foreign Relations Committee, a position awarded to her by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But she has no business in Congress at all, and should at the very least be investigated for numerous crimes committed over a period of years.
Omar’s position on Israel is long-established and well-known. She supports the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, and is overtly anti-Zionist. The 2012 tweet below — which she only deleted in the past few days — reiterates the incessant Arab narrative that casts Israel as an invader and abuser of Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip:
Exactly the opposite is true. In every case where Israel uses military force, it has responded to provocations from Arab terrorists of Hezbollah, Hamas, the PLO, and other factions. How is it that Israel endures weeks-long barrages of rockets from Palestinian-controlled areas and almost daily terrorist attacks against its citizens, yet those governments face no condemnation? Meanwhile, a worldwide push exists to destroy Israel through BDS: Who has hypnotized whom?
During her campaign for Congress, Omar claimed she opposed BDS, however, within days after winning her election, she publicly stated her support for it. Omar also claims Israel is an “apartheid” state. The Communist newspaper In These Timesdefended Omar, reiterating the theme that Israel is “an apartheid system built on violent theft of Palestinian land and decades of oppression.” Let me repeat that: the Communist newspaper In These Times calls Israel an apartheid state. Considering the source, that’s a LOL moment and should immediately cause the reader to reject the message out of hand. False propaganda that stands reality on its head is the Communists’ stock in trade, and this is one of their favorites.
Palestinian-controlled areas are the ones under “decades of oppression”; both the PA and Hamas practice smothering socialism. The litany of corruption, poverty, and despotic rule Palestinians endure under these regimes is endless. And their leaders constantly provoke Israel while hiding themselves among civilians, both to use them as human shields and to score propaganda points when civilians inadvertently get in the crossfire. Meanwhile, Palestinian children are systematically indoctrinated to hate Jews — and trained for suicide missions in Israel.
Conversely, Arabs living in Israel enjoy freedom and prosperity unknown in Palestinian controlled areas. There are Arab members of the Knesset and Supreme Court, Arab generals in the military, many Arab newspapers, and Israeli companies place no employment barriers to Arabs. In fact, there are many affirmative action programs in Israel catering to the Arab population. Among them:
- A five-year plan starting in 2015 to develop the Arab sector’s economy, to which the government allocated $4 billion.
- A government resolution to have at least 10% representation in government positions from Israeli Arabs.
- Innovation Authority technology training programs for the Arab sector.
- A Ministry of Education program to enhance science and math studies of Bedouins in the south of the country.
- Ministry of Labor programs to improve the skills of workers in the Arab sector
- Programs by state-funded universities to boost the number of Arab students in graduate schools
- A designated Commissioner in the Ministry of Labor to combat discrimination against Arabs in the private and public sectors
- Government funding for non-profit organizations catering to the Arabs.
This is a partial list but gives you the picture of the efforts taken by the Israeli government to combat discrimination against Arabs and to improve participation in the workforce.
This is not the description of “apartheid.” I suggest that label is better applied to Palestinian-controlled areas.
Some Palestinians receive social security and pensions from Israel. The PA is negotiating with Israel to take over these retirement funds and is creating a social security system of its own. Palestinians have demonstrated against this — believing that the corrupt PA will misuse or steal their retirement.
When I wrote Who Was Yasser Arafat? shortly following his death in 2004, I came across a survey of Arabs living in Israel. Some 70 percent responded that they would take up arms rather than be forced to live in areas controlled by the PA.
Omar’s most recent tweets, claiming that Israel is only supported in Congress because “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” parrot the familiar “Jewish money controls the world” narrative. Omar was denounced by some in her own party; Nancy Pelosi demanded she apologize. Omar issued a half-hearted apology, but later that same day retweeted a comment by another Democrat who condemned Pelosi for not defending Omar. It read: “I am deeply disappointed in @SpeakerPelosi for her failure today … ”. So Omar gets to have her cake and eat it, too.
True to the mark, the Washington Post used the Omar fiasco as yet another opportunity to lambast Republicans as the source of real bigotry, saying: “Those who believe in a tolerant, multicultural America need to speak with one voice against the scapegoating of minorities by the likes of Trump and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) — not quarrel among themselves.” Sure, and Jussie Smollett really is a victim.
President Trump weighed in, calling for Omar’s resignation:
What she said is so deep-seated in her heart that her lame apology — and that’s what it was; it was lame, and she didn’t mean a word of it — was just not appropriate. I think she should resign from Congress, frankly. But at a minimum, she shouldn’t be on committees, and certainly that committee.
Any Republican making such statements would already have been forced to resign by his or her own party. Rep. Steve King was removed from all Committee assignments for one comment suggesting he supported white supremacists, a charge he adamantly denies. However, Democrat double standards, subversive political calculations, and sheer vindictiveness, enabled by a complicit media, not only preclude such an event but virtually guarantee that Omar will remain on the House Foreign Relations Committee. And that is a real problem.
Ilhan Omar is a poster child for the Red-Green Axis — the unholy alliance between the radical Left and terror-connected, anti-American Muslim groups. She has been supported by and is networked with some of its most virulent members.
On the heels of her non-apology, Omar will shortly share the stage at a Florida fundraising event with Yousef Abdallah, who has rejoiced at the murder of Jews on his social media posts. The event is sponsored by Islamic Relief USA. Quin Hillyer writes in the Washington Examiner that IRUSA “has been branded a terrorist financier by the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Israel,” and that “Russian authorities, the Swiss bank UBS, the British bank HSBC, and reports by governmental entities in Germany and Sweden all have determined that Islamic Relief has supported radical Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood.”
One month later, Omar will speak at another Florida fundraiser sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood group fronting for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in the United States and is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) terror financing trial. CAIR founder Nihad Awad led the student branch of the Communist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in America before switching to Hamas in 1994. CAIR called Omar’s statements about Jewish political donations courageous.
Omar will share the stage with Hassan Shibly, executive director for CAIR-Florida. Shibly has emphatically stated that Hamas and Lebanon-based Hezbollah are not terrorist organizations. That would be laugh-out-loud funny, but it was stated by someone running a branch of an organization that some naïve politicians call “moderate.” Wiser nations, like the United Arab Emirates, characterize CAIR as a terrorist organization.
CAIR pursues “litigation jihad,” among other forms, though none overtly violent yet. For example, Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-Minnesota — which is completely in bed with Omar — bragged that his group filed 360 lawsuits in 2017 alone. Lawfare is one of CAIR’s favorite tactics, along with threatening speakers — like yours truly — who expose their underbelly. Last year, CAIR national jumped on the bandwagon with extreme Left groups in suing the FBI, Customs & Border Protection, and other agencies charged with homeland security.
At least one state legislature has some sense: The Arkansas House just passed a resolution demanding state law enforcement suspend interactions with CAIR. We’ll see if it has wings.
During her campaign, Omar partnered with the vicious, anti-American, anti-Semitic Linda Sarsour, whose mentor Siraj Wahhaj was an alleged co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Wahhaj’s son faces prosecution in New Mexico for starving and abusing 11 children and allowing his own three-year-old son to die at an Islamic cult compound he ran.
In interviews, Omar has mocked concerns over terrorism. She says members of al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab are “normal citizens,” and “don’t mean anything evil.” Omar has also stated she thinks their actions are justified.
Omar’s district — MN-5, formerly held by the Islamo-Marxist Keith Ellison who is now, incomprehensibly, Minnesota’s attorney general — has been dubbed the “Terrorist Recruitment Capital of the United States.” An astounding 45 Somali men from this one district either joined ISIS or Somalia’s al-Shabaab.
Twelve were arrested seeking to join ISIS. Omar defended nine of the 12 during sentencing, claiming their intended violence was in response to “direct marginalization” and “systematic alienation.” She actually wrote a letter to the judge, arguing that “[t]he best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion. We must alter our attitude and approach; if we truly want to affect change, we should refocus our efforts on inclusion and rehabilitation.”
When the Somalian terrorist group al-Shabaab attacked the Kenyan Westgate shopping mall in 2013, killing 67 and wounding more than 175, Omar blamed America, saying it was “our involvement in other people’s affairs” that precipitated the attack.
So terrorists can do no wrong while America gets the blame. But it is not for lack of trying. Omar’s District 5 encompasses the Minneapolis area that has the largest population of Somalis anywhere in the nation — and the local government has bent over backwards to accommodate the Somalis.
For example, in 2017, a bipartisan group of state senators proposed an $18 million grant program for “Somali community development,” based on the errant notion that poverty creates terrorism. As a then-state representative, Ilhan Omar co-sponsored the House companion bill. Another bill proposed $400,000 over two years to build a Somali museum. In 2019, another bill grants $4 million over two years specifically for “the east African community economic development pilot grant program.” Another permanent annual grant set at $2 million per year for the next two years has been proposed for one private foundation specifically focused on low-income neighborhoods in Minnesota — which are almost entirely Somali neighborhoods in Minneapolis.
Such freebies almost never work. Minnesota Somalis already use welfare at astronomical rates, and there has been an ongoing, active criminal enterprise fleecing the state welfare program of $100 million or more annually, much of which is likely going to finance al Shabaab. Millions are stuffed in suitcases on regular flights headed for Somalia. As Fox News reported: “In 2015, investigators documented $14 million in carry-on cash. By 2016, it had mushroomed to $84 million. Then last year, $100 million.”
The Minneapolis housing board allows for minimal back-rent payments for Somalis who go for extended, months-long vacations to Somalia. Note that since virtually all first-generation Somali U.S. citizens originally immigrated as refugees or asylees supposedly fleeing for their lives, these trips suggest most came under false pretenses. In fact, the State Department’s refugee “family reunification” program for northern Africa was shut down from 2008 to 2012 following a DNA study that found a confirmed fraud rate of over 80 percent — and possibly close to 100 percent — in that program. Experts say the entire refugee/asylum system is similarly infected.
And Omar has her own legal problems. David Steinberg has published, in a series of investigative pieces at PJ Media, documentary evidence of immigration fraud, perjury, and financial fraud. Omar apparently married her own brother, one Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, in 2009 so he could gain legal access to the U.S. and obtain student loans. Both then moved to North Dakota to attend school. Omar denies Elmi is her brother, and filing for divorce in 2017, Omar swore she had not been in contact with Elmi since 2011.
According to her own testimony, Omar was in a common-law marriage since 2002 to another man, Ahmed Hirsi, and had children by him. She claimed to have left Hirsi in 2008 and then married Elmi. But new evidence has surfaced — including Omar’s own social media posts which she has since deleted — that she never left Hirsi, and that in fact she, Hirsi, and Elmi all lived together in North Dakota between 2009 and 2011. Further evidence indicates she conversed regularly with Elmi on social media after 2011 and even flew to London to visit him in 2015. Finally, Elmi apparently lived with Omar’s father in Minneapolis years before their “marriage,” and graduated from high school there in 2003. Few have noticed that Omar is back with Hirsi, her first, or more likely never parted, husband, who is seen with her regularly at public events.
All of this evidence suggests multiple instances of criminal behavior. Steinberg writes:
Immigration fraud, marriage fraud, federal student loan fraud, several instances of perjury, tax fraud on every filing for eight years, even fraud on her disclosure forms while serving as a state representative: all of this could potentially be in the mix based on the current evidence. Add that to an open investigation into her campaign finances.
Omar seems to have a predilection for helping other relatives, too. She publicly backed the candidacy of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a former New York Transportation employee who improbably won election as president of Somalia in February 2017. It has been termed one of the most corrupt elections in Somalia’s history, a nation racked by corruption for ages. Omar also supported Hassan Ali Khayre, a candidate for prime minister who is suspected of illegal activities as director of a Russian-controlled oil company in Somalia and is under investigation for links to terrorists, including al-Shabaab. Omar subsequently spoke at an event in Minneapolis congratulating President Mohamed and mentioning Ali Khayre. Two days later, Ali Khayre was voted prime minister by the Somali parliament.
Two days after that, Omar’s brother-in-law was appointed permanent secretary to Ali Khayre.
Will Omar use this conduit to share classified information she obtains on her Foreign Relations Committee seat? Will that classified information reach terrorists? I think that’s a rhetorical question … all with Speaker Pelosi’s blessings.
Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and BDS
Omar also reflects the increasingly virulent anti-Semitism of the Left, and by extension, the Democrat Party that the Left now owns. This is visible every day on college campuses throughout the U.S., but especially at the 600-odd campuses housing chapters of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) — the oldest Muslim Brotherhood front group in the United States. The movie Hate Spaces documents the frightening, overt anti-Semitism on college campuses today.
A favorite tactic of the Left is to create a “strawman” enemy it can use to vilify opponents and excuse all kinds of excessive behavior (think Antifa). In this case, the Left has come up with the slogan “Zionism is Racism.” To accentuate the “Zionism is Racism” theme, they declare Israel to be an “apartheid regime,” drumming up images of old South Africa, and the Palestinians as an “oppressed people” for which we must have “compassion,” or else we are just as racist as the Zionists.
This, in turn, gives the Left the pretext to launch a Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement as Western nations used to take down South Africa. On the most radical Left front, it activates groups like the International Solidarity Movement, which aligns with American communist groups to oppose Israel, and engages in violent and illegal activity to support Hamas. American ISM activists launched the “Gaza Flotilla” to run Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. In 2010, they provoked a skirmish with Israeli commandos who had boarded one of six flotilla ships that had refused to stop. Nine activists were killed in the resulting gun battle. In 2011, another flotilla was launched but was prevented from completing the trip when Turkey intercepted the vessels en route.
But like so much of the Left’s propaganda, not a shred of the “Zionism is Racism” meme is even remotely true. In fact, the opposite is true. Zionism is merely the Jewish aspiration for a homeland. This is no different than the Kurds and Balochi people, both of whom lobby and fight for their own homelands. Greeks living on the Turkish side of Cyprus yearn to be reunited with the Greek side. The Polisario Front, a Socialist group in Western Sahara, seeks its own homeland, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic — currently a part of Morocco.
There are similar nationalist movements all over the globe that the Left has supported. Why not Israel?
During a rare moment of honesty in June 2017, Senator Chuck Schumer praised French President Emmanuel Macron, who had equated anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Schumer said:
The idea that all other peoples can seek and defend their right to self-determination but the Jewish people cannot; that other nations have a right to exist but the Jewish State of Israel does not, that, too, is a modern form of anti-Semitism, just as President Macron said this weekend.
Schumer also criticized BDS against Israel. Unsurprisingly, he’s gone silent about Omar. However, his statement was correct. David Harsanyi writes in The Federalist:
It’s true, of course, that anti-Zionism isn’t “the same” as common anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionism is the most significant and consequential form of anti-Semitism that exists in the world today. Anti-Zionism has done more to undermine Jewish safety than all the ugly tweets, dog whistles, and white nationalist marches combined. It is the predominant justification for violence, murder, and hatred against Jews in Europe and the Middle East. And it’s now infiltrating American politics.
To deny Jews a homeland is to deny history. On the other hand, Palestinians, as a people, are a modern invention created for the specific purpose of prosecuting a war against the Jewish state. There is no specific Palestinian heritage, culture, or language. There has never been a Palestinian state ruled by Palestinian leaders. Palestinians are simply Arabs living in the boundaries of a region mandated to Britain following WWI that was given the name “Palestine.” In more honest days, Zahir Muhsein, a leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) admitted it. He said:
The Palestinian people does not [sic] exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.
Bingo! The “Arab unity” concept is also embedded in the PLO Charter, which explicitly calls for the elimination of Israel. So all of the misinformation, slurs, and activism against Israel are simply different fronts on a multi-front offensive to destroy the Jewish state.
Yasser Arafat admitted that, too. He said:
Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine and establish a sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.
Arafat said this to reassure Arab media on the same day he shook hands with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn to celebrate the Oslo Accords that created the Palestinian Authority.
It explains why, despite the West bending over backwards to accommodate the Arabs with a two-state solution, the Palestinians reject it every time. Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East landmass. Not good enough, they want it all, and with it, the elimination of the Jewish people.
Why has the world never heard of this? Serial media malpractice.
Don’t expect House Speaker Pelosi to rein Omar, Tlaib, Cortez, and the other extremists in her Party. Though spoken of as an “establishment Democrat,” Pelosi is every bit as much an extremist as all of them, and always has been.
For example, as far back as the 1980s, Pelosi allied herself with Communist organizations like Nicaragua Network and the Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). CISPES was founded by U.S.-based Cuban agents and Farid Handal, brother of the Salvadoran Communist guerrilla leader, Schafik Handal. If you still have any doubts, note that Pelosi just threatened that a future Democrat president might use the emergency powers President Trump just invoked to confiscate privately owned firearms.
No, Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez are not marginalized within the Democratic Party, despite some criticism from Party members. They actually serve a very specific purpose for Democrats as the Party drifts further and further Left. Omar, in particular, has openly demonstrated her pro-terrorist, anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic sentiments. She has likely committed numerous crimes. She has established networks in Somalia to one of its most corrupt governments in history, likely connected to al-Shabaab terrorists and thus the entire Middle East terrorist network. She is an existential threat to national security, and should at the very least be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee, if not thrown out of Congress altogether. But without significant public pressure and prosecution for her crimes, it probably won’t happen.
James Simpson is an economist, investigative journalist, businessman and author. His most recent book is The Red Green Axis: Refugees, Immigration and the Agenda to Erase America. His articles and research work have been published in Accuracy in Media, American Thinker, Breitbart, Capital Research Center, Center for Security Policy, Daily Caller, PJ Media, Washington Times, and elsewhere. Mr. Simpson is also featured in the documentaries The Enemies Within, AGENDA: Grinding America Down, AGENDA II: Masters of Deceit, and most recently, Sabotage, How the Islamists, Marxists, and Their “Useful Idiots” Are Destroying America from Within. Follow Jim on Twitter & Facebook.