We have seen this before — death threats against Linda Sarsour, the CNN firing of Mark Lamont Hill, a Birmingham museum revoking Angela Davis’s award. When brave people of color speak out for Palestinian rights, they are attacked and accused of anti-Semitism. After Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted yesterday about AIPAC’s influence on Congress, Israeli occupation apologists began demanding that the congresswoman — the first black, Muslim woman elected to Congress — be removed from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
We know that anti-Semitism is on the rise in the US and we also know that the danger is coming from white nationalists, not people like Ilhan Omar, who is among the first brave congress members to challenge the devastating influence of the Israeli lobby on our democracy.
We are allowed to talk about the power of well-funded groups like the NRA, the Saudis, and big pharmaceutical companies, but as soon as anyone levels the same critique at AIPAC, they’re viciously attacked. Yet everyone who works in Washington, DC knows that when an elected official crosses AIPAC, it uses its enormous power to exact revenge. We saw it when AIPAC brought down former Representatives Cynthia McKinney and Earl Hilliard by funding their opponents and we are seeing it now as they try to destroy a brand new, inspirational congresswoman: Ilhan Omar. We won’t stand for it again.
Every moment that we allow false accusations of anti-Semitism to dominate the national conversation, we ignore the actual issues we should be discussing: the continuous occupation in Palestine, children dying of starvation in Yemen, a US-orchestrated coup in Venezuela. In the short time Cong. Omar has been in Congress, she has been among the strongest voices for diplomacy and against militarism. That’s what we stand to lose if she is removed from her committee. Tell the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to get their priorities in order. Instead of attacking Ilhan Omar, they should attack the policies that are killing people from Palestine to Yemen.
This is the first time we’ve had Muslim women in Congress and the first time we’ve had open support in Congress for boycott, divestment, and sanctions to end Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. The pro-Israel lobby has been looking for any reason to attack Ilhan Omar, but don’t let them dictate the terms of the debate. Join us as we stand with Linda, with Mark, with Angela, and now, as we STAND WITH ILHAN!
In appreciation of Ilhan,
Ann, Ariel, Carley, Caroline, Jodie, Kelly, Kirsten, Lily, Maya, Mark, Medea, Nancy, Paki, Ryan, Sarah, Tighe and Ursula