- The Washington Times - Friday, March 8, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Oh, Ilhan Omar. The freshman Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota, fresh off a week of self-imposed controversy, has now stepped in it once again.

When Meghan McCain of “The View” got a bit emotional and teary-eyed while pointing out the “scary” long-term implications of Omar’s anti-Semitic views, the lawmaker retweeted a message that pretty much went like this: Oh, knock it off, willya?

And taken in context, the retweet also suggested a moral equivalency between the slaughter of the Jews — the Holocaust — and the fact the now-deceased John McCain, while senator, supported military action against Iran.

Mud, meet Omar.

Here’s the lowdown.

“Meghan McCain Breaks Down in Tears Over Ilhan Omar’s ‘Scary’ Israel Comments,” read one Daily Beast headline, in a story about “The View” hosts’ discussion and debate of the resolution to condemn anti-Semitism in Congress — the same resolution that took so long to pen and that ultimately, wrapped as a watery “we condemn all forms of hate and discrimination” type of pronouncement.

McCain: “This issue is a really intense one for me. … First and foremost, anti-Semitism shouldn’t be a left or right issue. I don’t think we should be politicizing it on either side. … [But] if what Ilhan Omar were saying for the past few weeks were said by a white Republican male, how would you be reacting to it right now?”

Her point?

Rep. Steve King was tossed off his committees after saying what was interpreted — largely by the media — as statements in support of white nationalism. Omar, on the other hand, still holds her position on the Foreign Relations Committee, despite tweeting of the “evil”-ness of Israel in 2012, despite making remarks in recent weeks that reek of anti-Semitism.

Omar’s supporters have come out in her defense, saying she’s not anti-Semitic and is simply trying to hold serious discussions about America’s long-standing support of Israel.

McCain continued: “I take this very personally. … I take the hate crimes raising in this country incredibly seriously and I think what’s happening in Europe is really scary. And I’m sorry if I’m getting emotional. … [I]t is very dangerous — very dangerous … and what Ilhan Omar is saying is very scary to me and a lot of people and I don’t think you have to be Jewish to recognize that.”

Agreed.

But then came this tweet from Medhi Hasan, an “Intercept” columnist and Al Jazeera host, who wrote, Fox News found: “Meghan’s late father literally sang ‘bomb bomb bomb Iran’ and insisted on referring to his Vietnamese captors as ‘g—ks.’ He also, lest we forget, gave the world Sarah Palin. So a little less faux outrage over a former-refugee-turned-freshman-representative pls.”

And then Omar retweeted that.

Open mouth, insert foot?

If only. If only we could believe Omar’s retweet was a simple, silly, freshman-y, knee-jerk type reaction to some blunt, stinging scolding she received on ABC. But why retweet that? To which part was she agreeing?

Frankly, this congresswoman has a track record of making anti-Semitic statements that cannot be ignored. 

And when there’s a track record, even a simple retweet becomes proper fodder for scrutiny — particularly when the tweet itself makes curious equivalencies that suggest outrage and horror and emotional response to the Holocaust is yawn, yawn, oh-so-yesterday. 

Suddenly, that open mouth, insert foot moment becomes yet another checkmark on a list of anti-Semitic comments. Suddenly, it seems as if Omar has yet again gone anti-Semitic — has yet again, taken a stroll through the anti-Semitism mud.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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