Minnesota's First Muslim Legislator is Under Fire for a Gaza War Tweet

Published July 10th, 2018 - 01:24 GMT
Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim legislator elected to office in the US as a representative of Minnesota state and a candidate for Congress. (Facebook/Ilham Omar for Congress)
Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim legislator elected to office in the US as a representative of Minnesota state and a candidate for Congress. (Facebook/Ilham Omar for Congress)

Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim legislator elected to office in the US as a representative of Minnesota state and a candidate for Congress, has received critical comments on social media for an old tweet that dates back to 2012, in which she criticized Israel.

The massive win registered by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and her Israel remarks prompted concerns among Americans as it confirmed a shift in the Democratic Party base toward the Palestine-Israel conflict.

Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American Muslim legislator elected to office in the US as a representative of Minnesota state and a candidate for Congress, was the latest to face fierce attack on social media because of an old tweeted dates back to 2012 in which she criticized Israel.

At that time the Israeli army began an operation in Gaza in 2012, Ilhan accused Israel of “hypnotizing” the world with their “evil doings”.

Her tweet was almost forgotten among social media users until it was re-shared in May 2018 by a user who called her “a Jew hater." His tweet was referring to Ilhan’s latest appearance in a music video for one of the well-known pop bands in US, Maroon 5, along with several well-known figures.

The wave of criticism was triggered by bringing her tweet to light, prompting her to defend her position, as she attempted to clarify the defference between “anti-Semitism” and criticizing an “apartheid regime”.

Social media users jumped on her tweet attacking her and criticizing her “hate-filled heart”.

In July 2018, Ilhan was hosted on ABC News for a segment called: “Progressive Democrats increasingly criticize Israel, and could reap political rewards”, where Ilhan confirmed: “These accusations are without merit. They are rooted in bigotry toward a belief about what Muslims are stereotyped to believe.”

ABC News has also published a recent report on the progressive Democrats who are willing to criticize Israel and how it will “reap political rewards”.

In the report, ABC cited four congressional candidates, in Pennsylvania, NY, Minnesota and Virginia. Starting from Ocasio-Cortez, Leslie Cockburn, Scott Wallace and Ilhan Omar, Democratic candidates have responded to their voters and become less afraid of criticizing Israel.

The report also cited public opinion polls that indicate a shift among Democratic voters, in which an equal number of voters sympathized with Palestinians as the Israelis, marking a drop by 16% in the number of people who sympathizes with Israel in the last two years.

While Americans and Democrats themselves are still in split over the Israel issue, the rise in anti-Israeli voices among Democratic party representatives is an indicator for a clear change in the way Americans are now perceiving Israeli acts against Palestinians.


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