Ilhan Omar

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Omar’s official congressional portrait

Ilhan Omar (born October 4, 1981) is a Somali-American politician from Minnesota. In 2016, she was elected a Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, making her the first Somali-American legislator elected to office in the United States.

Quotes[edit]

2016[edit]

  • [1]I appreciate the countless messages of support I have received from the people... who understand how difficult and deeply personal this has been for my family and especially my children. I remain honored to be a part of a campaign that is uniting the diverse voices of our district – long term residents, East African immigrants and students.

2018[edit]

  • I am America’s hope and the president’s nightmare.
    • 13 July 2018 on Comedy Central's "Daily Show" per Snopes
  • I am much more interested in defending my ideas than defending my identities.
    • As reported by the Star Tribune in December 2018, in response to criticism of Omar wearing hijab while on the House floor.[1]

2019[edit]

  • Most of the things that have always been aggravating to me is that we have had a policy that makes one superior... When I see Israel institute... law that recognizes it as a Jewish state and does not recognize... the other religions that are living in it and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East, I almost chuckle because I know that if... we see that in any other society we would criticize it... We would call it out... We do that to Iran.
  • In 1991, you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding your involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush... I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony that you give today to be truthful... You later said that the U.S. policy in El Salvador was a 'fabulous achievement...Yes or no: Do you still think so?...The American people want to know that any time we engage a country, that we think about what our actions could be and how we believe our values are being furthered.... Whether, under your watch, a genocide will take place, and you will look the other way because American interests were being upheld, is a fair question.
    (Questions & Comments were made during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday regarding President Trump's Venezuela envoy Elliott Abrams).
  • Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that!
  • When we talk about waking people up from complicity, is to say that we can’t be only upset with Trump because he’s not a politician who sells us his policies in the most perfect way. His policies are bad. But many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.

Covington Catholic[edit]

Note: Regarding the confrontation between Covington Catholic School kids and others on the National Mall, the origins of which are still in dispute despite a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwNyOD8FIQk) of the event, Rep. Omar accused the students of wrongdoing.

  • The boys were protesting a woman's right to choose & yelled 'it's not rape if you enjoy it' ... (archived)
  • They were taunting 5 Black men before they surrounded Phillips and led racist chants ...
  • Sandmann's family hired a right wing PR firm to write his non-apology.
    • Twitter feed, as reported by Fox News, (Jan 22, 2019)[2]
    • Tweet deleted following threat of lawsuit, as reported by Roll Call[3]

Israel[edit]

  • Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.
    • Twitter feed [4] (Nov 16, 2012)
    • Omar later regretted making this tweet, describing it as 'unfortunate'.[4]
  • It's all about the Benjamins baby.
    • Alleging that American politicians get paid to support Israel, in response to journalist Glenn Greenwald. 10 February 2019
  • I am told every day that I am anti-American if I am not pro-Israel. I find that to be problematic and I am not alone. I just happen to be willing to speak up on it and open myself to attacks.
  • I am sure @AOC and every member of Congress who cares about children will sign on. Super proud of @BettyMcCollum04 for her leadership on this issue
    • 12 June 2019 regarding H.R 2407 (introduced 30 April 2019) of the 116th Congress (Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act) previously known as H.R. 4391 (Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act) as part of the 115th Congress, introduced November 2017. Highlighted 14 June 2019

Venezuela[edit]

  • A US backed coup in Venezuela is not a solution to the dire issues they face. Trump's efforts to install a far right opposition will only incite violence and further destabilize the region. We must support Mexico, Uruguay & the Vatican's efforts to facilitate a peaceful dialogue.
  • We cannot hand pick leaders for other countries on behalf of multinational corporate interests. The legislature cannot seize power from the President, and Venezuela's Supreme Court has declared their actions unconstitutional.
    • Twitter feed, as reported by The Hill (Jan 25, 2019), referencing Juan Guaidó[6]
  • If we really want to support the Venezuelan people, we can lift the economic sanctions that are inflicting suffering on innocent families, making it harder for them to access food and medicines, and deepening the economic crisis. We should support dialogue, not a coup!

Misattributed[edit]

Quotes about Ilhan Omar[edit]

(Most recent first)

  • On Sunday, after Hamas had launched rockets at Israel and murdered Israelis while wounding scores of other Israelis, duly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) attacked Israel once again, blaming Israel for shooting “protesters” and insisting that Israel was occupying Gaza.
    • Hank Berrien, Ilhan Omar Attacks Israel. Liz Cheney Demolishes Her With One Tweet., May 6 2019, The Daily Wire
  • Omar and Tlaib, who are both well-documented anti-Semites, rushed to attack Israel and defended the terrorism that was being carried out against Israel.
    • Ryan Saavedra, Ilhan Omar And Rashida Tlaib Attack Israel, Defend Palestinian Terror Attacks, May 5 2019, The Daily Wire
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) trivialized the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history in a recent speech she gave at an event for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — which the United Arab Emirates has designated as a terrorist organization. When speaking about the 9/11 terror attacks, which killed approximately 3,000 American citizens, Omar described the attacks as "some people did something."
    • Ryan Saavedra, Ilhan Omar Trivializes 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: 'Some People Did Something', April 9 2019, The Daily Wire
  • Omar has been condemned multiple times by her Democratic colleagues for pushing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories used by Nazi Germany and using anti-Semitic tropes. Omar has compared Israel to the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism in media interviews where she also suggested that Israel should not be allowed to exist as a Jewish state. Omar has suggested that her Jewish colleagues devised a plan to silence her by accusing her of being anti-Semitic and suggesting that Omar was expecting one of her Jewish colleagues to have dual loyalties to Israel. Omar also claimed that pro-Israel groups were paying off U.S. politicians to have dual loyalties to Israel.
    • Omar Refuses To Condemn Gays Being Stoned To Death Under Sharia Law, Violence Against Israel From Hamas, Ryan Saavedra, March 29 2019, Daily Wire
  • A freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar has let the proverbial cat out of the bag by alluding to American-Jewish money buying uncritical support for a foreign country which is Israel without any regard to broader U.S. interests, something that everyone in Washington knows is true and has been the case for decades but is afraid to discuss due to inevitable punishment by the Israel Lobby... Any bill relating to Israel or to Jewish collective interests, like the currently fashionable topic of anti-Semitism, is guaranteed a 90% plus approval rating no matter what it says or how much it damages actual U.S. interests. Thursday’s 407 to 23 vote in the House of Representatives on a meaningless and almost unreadable “anti-hate” resolution was primarily intended to punish Ilhan Omar and to demonstrate that the Democratic Party is indeed fully committed to sustaining the exclusive prerogatives of the domestic Jewish community and the Jewish state.
  • Ilhan Omar has certainly been forced to apologize and explain her position as she is under sustained attack from the left, right and center as well as from the White House. One congressman told her that “Questioning support for the US-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” Another said “there are many reasons to support Israel, but there is no reason to oppose Israel” while yet another one declared that all in Congress are committed to insuring that the “United States and Israel stand as one.”
  • But Omar has defended herself without abandoning her core arguments and she has further established her bona fides as a credible critic of what passes for U.S. foreign policy by virtue of an astonishing attack on former President Barack Obama, whom she criticized obliquely in an interview Friday, saying “We can’t be only upset with Trump. His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. That’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.” Presumably Omar was referring to Obama’s death by drone program and his destruction of Libya, among his other crimes. Everything she said about the smooth talking but feckless Obama is true and could be cast in even worse terms, but to hear the truth from out of the mouth of a liberal Democrat is something like a revelation that all progressives are not ideologically fossilized and fundamentally brain dead. One wonders what she thinks of the Clintons?


  • Though it was not their intention, Ilhan Omar’s critics did her a favor: They proved the very point she made at the Progressive Issues Town Hall at Busboys and Poets bookstore in Washington, DC, last week... Omar’s points: The United States’ allegiance to Israel, right or wrong, is unwavering, and any questioning of Israeli policy and the Palestinian plight is “unacceptable” and will be linked to antisemitism in order to squash debate... Journalists wore their bias on their sleeve. At the Washington Post (3/4/19), Dana Milbank likened Omar’s bigotry to that of Donald Trump, accusing her of “using President Trump’s playbook.” And Henry Olson, who (3/4/19) likened her to Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa), the congressmember who embraces white nationalism, demanded that Omar be punished even if she had done nothing wrong...
  • It’s vital to have a discussion of such abuses, backed by $3 billion in annual US military aid to Israel. Instead, we got another debate on how to label Ilhan Omar. Which was exactly her point.


  • Ilhan Omar is NOW the most important Member of the US Congress!
    • David Duke, twitter, 4:35 AM - Mar 8, 2019
  • What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate. That’s wrong Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world. We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel.


  • A large number of proud Jewish Americans – raised to believe in civil liberties and open discussion – are appalled by the campaign to muzzle Rep. Ilhan Omar, as well as Speaker Pelosi’s role in it. We’re also appalled that human-rights-abusing Israel is virtually off-limits to debate.
  • Most Jews – the likes of Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner excepted – empathize with the refugee experience. Only a rare few cannot be impressed by the life story of Ilhan Omar, who fled civil-war-torn Somalia and came to the U.S. as a refugee at age 12, knowing only two English phrases: “hello” and “shut up.” Now a Muslim Congresswoman, she’s recently faced hateful bias and threats.
  • Rep. Omar has made a simple and undeniable point – that AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and the funding it influences exert extraordinary power over Congress. Disputing that point is flat-earther terrain. The Capitol Hill farce of an “anti-hate” resolution would provide still more evidence on behalf of her argument. Unfortunately, all the vague media references to Rep Omar’s “anti-Semitic remarks” obscure how truthful and non-hateful those comments were.


  • We are Jews who stand with Representative Ilhan Omar. She has been falsely accused of anti-Semitism since tweeting that GOP threats against her and Representative Rashida Tlaib for criticizing Israel were “all about the Benjamins baby.” When asked to clarify who is paying members of Congress “to be pro-Israel,” Omar replied, “AIPAC!”
  • There is absolutely nothing anti-Semitic about calling out the noxious role of AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee), which spends millions each year to buy U.S. political support for Israeli aggression and militarism against the Palestinian people. As the NYC chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace summed up: "Accurately describing how the Israel lobby works in this country is not anti-Semitic. The never-ending smear campaign against Ilhan Omar is racism and Islamophobia in action.”
  • There is no denying that money rules U.S. politics, and that powerful lobbies from the NRA to the fossil fuel lobby to AIPAC play destructive, anti-democratic roles in our political system, wielding money for legislative influence. The pro-Israel lobby has played an outsized role in producing nearly unanimous congressional support for Israel. It has organized a national campaign to suppress Palestinian activism on campuses, made the Israel Anti-Boycott Act a legislative priority, and for decades has boasted about their power to make or break political careers. To point out this reality is not anti-Semitic.



  • Someone in Congress finally asked a world-historical ghoul to answer for what he did... Of all the bloodthirsty think-tank Rambos that were wandering around... none of them were so bone-deep inhumanely repulsive as Elliot Abrams, whose main job was to enable death squads and cover up massacres.. Anyway, Abrams came before the House Foreign Relations Committee. It came time for Rep. Ilhan Omar to ask him questions. Congresswoman Omar, you may have noted, has had a rough couple of weeks. Nevertheless, she soldiered on and asked Abrams if they could discuss his resume for a bit. Abrams didn't seem to enjoy having his bona fides as a war criminal discussed by this... person “I’m not going to respond to that question, I’m sorry. I don’t think this entire line of questioning is meant to be real questions.” I think I speak for thousands of dead people in Central America when I thank Rep. Omar for allowing us to say, together, once again, and to the skull-like face of Elliott Abrams, "Man, fck that guy."


  • Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, and Congresswoman Omar is, terrible what she said, I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 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, certainly that committee.
    • Donald Trump, WATCH: Trump Calls On Anti-Semite Ilhan Omar To Resign From Congress, Daily Wire (12 February 2019)
  • Pelosi and Schumer know damn well that @IlhanMN (Ilhan Omar) was not engaged in anti-semitism and they intentionally conflate criticizing AIPAC with attacking Judaism and Jewish people. Omar hit a tripwire and the full force of the party was brought down on her.
  • Omar’s latest Jew-hatred isn’t the beginning of her story. In 2012 she tweeted: "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel." In 2013 she chuckled over Hamas and Hezbollah and suggested that the American military was akin to Al Qaeda. She supports the anti-Semitic BDS movement. She said last month that Israel cannot be a democracy and a Jewish state. She’s not hiding the ball here.
    • Ben Shapiro, The Democratic Party Has Become The Party Of Anti-Semitism. Here's Why. February 11 2019, Daily Wire
  • This is all so ridiculous. It’s all based upon this demand that we indulge what everybody knows is an utter and complete fiction, which is that we’re allowed to talk about the power of the NRA in Washington, we’re allowed to talk about the power of the Saudis in Washington, we’re allowed to talk about the power of big pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street and Silicon Valley and the fossil fuel industry in Washington, but we’re not allowed to talk about an equally potent, well-organized and well-financed lobby that ensures a bipartisan consensus in support of... Israel, that the minute that you mention that lobby, you get attacked as being anti-Semitic, which is what happened to Congresswoman Omar... For a long time, the bipartisan piety was not just that the U.S. has to support Israel, but that, in particular, the effort to boycott Israel in protest of its occupation of Palestine is not just misguided, but anti-Semitic. That’s the official position of the Democratic Party, of Hillary Clinton, of Chuck Schumer, of every leading Democrat.
  • What the congresswoman said is very uncontroversial. Everyone knows AIPAC is an extremely intimidating lobby, just like the NRA is. There’s nothing wrong with pointing that out. There’s certainly nothing anti-Semitic about saying that, about criticizing the Israeli government for its aggression and militarism. And anybody who cares about Palestinians and about the ability of Muslims in the United States to be able to speak freely ought to be defending her.
  • "Most of the things that have always been aggravating to me is that we have had a policy that makes one superior to the other and we mask it with a conversation... when you have policies that clearly prioritize one over the other," Omar responded... "When I see Israel institute law that recognizes it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East, I almost chuckle because I know that if... we see that in any other society we would criticize it." "We would call it out," Omar continued. "We do that to Iran."
  • Conservative Review's Jordan Schachtel notes that Omar "came into the House of Representatives with a lot of baggage. She may have committed massive immigration fraud... She is accused of committing several campaign finance violations. She cozies up to the Hamas-tied Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). She engages in conspiratorial anti-Semitism and supports a movement that seeks to eliminate the world’s lone Jewish state." Schachtel adds that "on an almost daily basis, Omar has revealed disturbing biases and appears to be unable to separate friends from foes or free states from totalitarian dictatorships. Putting aside her smearing of the Covington Catholic teenagers and her politicization of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Omar has committed several major foreign policy blunders that may lead even Democrats to question whether she is suited for a congressional foreign affairs committee."
  • If they had been wise, Israel’s friends, supporters and lobbyists in America might have held their peace. After the election of Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to congress – both supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel...But no. The sky fell. She was “vicious” in her views, wrong on facts, potentially antisemitic, a “strategic threat” to Israel itself.... Is the boycott and divestment campaign against Israel which Alexander supports – along with congresswomen Tlaib and Omar – really “delegitimising” Israel, as her critics claim? Or is Israel delegitimising itself by confiscating land which does not belong to it? And if the brave and liberal members of America’s Jewish community who condemn Israel are regularly smeared as “self-hating Jews”, what does that make Alexander?

References[edit]

  1. Rao, Maya (December 25, 2018). "Ilhan Omar's influence already expanding in Congress". Star Tribune. Retrieved on January 26, 2019. 
  2. Wulfsohn (January 22, 2019). "Rep. Ilhan Omar deletes tweet attacking Covington students, after backlash". Fox News. Retrieved on January 29, 2019. 
  3. Connelly, Griffin (January 23, 2019). "Covington Catholic lawyer adds Rep. Ilhan Omar to ‘libel,’ ‘get sued’ list". Roll Call. Retrieved on January 29, 2019. 
  4. Crowe, Jack (January 17, 2019). "Rep. Ilhan Omar on Past Anti-Semitic Tweet". National Review. Retrieved on January 17, 2019. 
  5. Wulfsohn, Joseph A. (January 24, 2019). "Rep. Ilhan Omar faces backlash after claiming Trump is backing ‘coup’ in Venezuela". Fox News. Retrieved on January 29, 2019. 
  6. a b Bowden, John (January 25, 2019). "New Dem Rep. Omar: US shouldn't 'hand pick' leaders in Venezuela or support 'coup' attempt". Retrieved on January 29, 2019. 

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