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November 29, 2020
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Jewish support for Ilhan Omar?

 

In an op-ed published on Medium, one Jewish voter says, “she is exactly the kind of leader” the Jewish people need.

Rep. Ilhan Omar has made wearing a headscarf seem fashionable, chic and powerful. (photo credit: TOM WILLIAMS/CQ ROLL CALL)
Rep. Ilhan Omar has made wearing a headscarf seem fashionable, chic and powerful.
(photo credit: TOM WILLIAMS/CQ ROLL CALL)
Ilhan Omar, a progressive United States representative who faces a tough primary on Tuesday, has been portrayed by her opponent as too divisive. When it comes to Israel and antisemitism, she has faced sharp criticism for her stances.
Recall, she is the one who tweeted that AIPAC secures support for Israel by bribing Washington with money and who proposed a bill that would allow for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to operate freely in the US.

Omar is facing off against Antone Melton-Meaux for Minnesota’s fifth district.

However, just a few days before the primary, a surprising op-ed appeared on the blogging platform Medium: a Jewish Omar supporter from her Minnesota district, Jeremy Iggers, not only says he is supporting Omar but explains why he thinks she is good for the Jews.
His piece, which is tied to the “We’re Jewish and We Support Ilhan Omar” petition, has garnered a couple of hundred signatures from local residents, “with more people signing on every day,” according to Iggers.
Iggers explained that the growing rift between the American Jewish community and the State of Israel has brought many Jews to prioritize new notions and values that correspond with those practiced by Omar.
“… Jews are facing a second reckoning — questioning our cherished myths about Israel and coming to grips with its reality of racism and intolerance, the brutality of the occupation, and the profound corruption of its leaders,” he wrote.
He added that some Jews simply don’t feel like they should grant automatic support to the only Jewish state in the Middle East simply because it calls itself Jewish.
Moreover, he said, core Jewish values like social and economic justice and welcoming the refugee have become interchangeable with Omar’s personal story and actions and seem to be more foreign in Israel’s reality today, at least from the perspective of some American Jews.
Finally, he said that it is also because a growing number of US Jews oppose West Bank settlements and believe that Israel needs “tough love.”
“By taking on the Israel lobby, Ilhan Omar and Bernie and a few other brave souls have made possible a more honest conversation about Israel. That’s the part that is really good for the Jews — and also very difficult,” Iggers wrote. “That conversation couldn’t be more timely. At a time when many Americans are facing up to painful truths about our country’s history of slavery and genocide, and many Minneapolitans are facing up to our liberal city’s entrenched patterns of structural racism and deep inequalities, Jews are facing a second reckoning — questioning our cherished myths about Israel and coming to grips with its reality of racism and intolerance, the brutality of the occupation, and the profound corruption of its leaders.”
“Ilhan Omar has condemned the occupation, but she has also called for a just solution that makes it possible for Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security,” Iggers asid. “Her opponent … doesn’t even mention the occupation or the building of settlements as obstacles to peace.”
He concluded that, “Some people criticize Ilhan Omar for being divisive. But she is exactly the kind of leader John Lewis had in mind when he said, ‘Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.’”
Via Jerusalem Post

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