Alwaght- The American-Somalian Ilhan Omar, who made her way to the US Congress as the first Muslim women in 2015, has been a constant critic of the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians in the Congress. But the Republicans could not tolerate her critical voice, and finally on Thursday, they expelled her from the Foreign Affairs Committee with 218 votes against the 211 opposite votes of the Democrats for her so-called anti-Semitism.
Michael Waltz, Republican of Florida, commented on the removal, saying that the “US and Israel have common values” and those who support them “deserve staying” in the Foreign Affairs Committee and anti-Semitism has no place in the this committee.
Before the voting started, Omar sarcastically said: “I’m a Muslim, I’m an immigrant and, interestingly I’m from Africa.” The Democrats accused the Republicans of retaliatory political action against the rival party.
Omar has been under pressure for a long time because of her words criticizing the policies of the Israeli regime and condemning its crimes against the Palestinians. She has been accused of anti-Semitism, while in recent years she had only criticized the crimes of the Israeli military against the Palestinians, something infuriating the Zionist lobby in the US. After the start of the new Congress, Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has good relations with Tel Aviv, said that they will expel Omar from the Congress.
The Republicans have been battling Omar since Trump presidency and before this, they raised charges against her to remove her from her post.
In this regard, the Saudi-run Al-Arabiya news network claimed in 2018 that it obtained documents showing that Omar was in contact with Qatar and took money from this country and transferred important information to Doha, and this information ended up in Iran’s hands. At that time, Danielle Stella, the Republican from Minnesota, said that if Omar’s accusations of transferring sensitive and confidential information to Iran are proven, she should be executed, but Omar denied these allegations which were never proven.
The American anger with a Muslim women in the Congress shows that the Zionist lobby has sway over the country’s governing structures to align the American politicians with its agenda and silence any voice critical of the Israeli regime under the label of anti-Semitism.
The action of the Republicans under the pretext of Omar’s criticism of the Israeli actions comes while even the UN and the American government are critical of the Israeli crimes in Palestine, and the resolutions passed by the UN against Tel Aviv in the past year show the isolation of this regime around the world.
Many believe that the anger of the Republicans with Omar has to do with her being a Muslim in addition to the criticism of the Israeli regime, as the US lawmakers, influenced by Islamophobic atmosphere that has been engulfing in the West world in recent years, cannot tolerate a Muslim in their country’s political structure.
Omar’s opposition to Israeli crimes
Despite being an American, Omar can not turn a blind eye to the Israeli crimes in the occupied territories against the Palestinians. Actually she has always taken tough stances against Tel Aviv despite strains put on her by the American political structure and the fellow lawmakers. In a tweet in 2012 and two years before her victory in the congressional election, she had said that “Israel has hypnotized the world while doing evil.” She had always rejected being anti-Semitic, adding that her reference to the Israeli apartheid is not related to anti-Semitism. In February 2019, in one of her tweets, Omar considered the financial support of the Zionist lobby as the reason for the Republicans’ support for Israel. She was accused of anti-Semitism after these comments, with even fellow Democratic lawmakers panning her.
Omar, along with Rashida Tlaib, another Muslim lawmaker, are supporters of the campaign to boycott the Israeli regime, officially known Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), and three years ago, they presented a bill that gave Americans the right to participate in campaigns calling for anti-Israeli boycott, showing that despite the rife opposition of other lawmakers, they do not intend to back down from their anti-Israeli policies.
During the wars Tel Aviv waged against Gaza, Omar announced her support to the Gazans and condemned the Israeli bombing of the besieged enclave. Criticizing the continued violence against the Palestinians in 2019, she asserted that the current state of occupation and crisis in Gaza are destabilizing for the region.
In November 2020, in reaction to the complete destruction of the village of Homs al-Baqiya in the West Bank by the Israeli government, Omar said that the destruction of Palestinian homes was an Israeli plan for ethnic cleansing and against international law. She went on that the Israelis use American facilities and equipment, and the US is also responsible for this violation of human rights.
During the 11-day Gaza war in May 2021, which was codenamed by Hamas the Operation Sword of Al-Quds, Omar said that procrastinating a ceasefire in Gaza was a factor behind “heinous killing of Palestinians.” She asked President Joe Biden to push for an end to the Israeli occupation.
Omar also took stance on the killing of the Palestinian journalist of Aljazeera Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli gunfire in May last year.
“She was killed by Israeli military after she made her presence as a journalist clearly known.... We provide Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid annually with no restrictions.... What will it take for accountability for these human rights violations?” a Twitter message of Omar said.
Recently, Omar along with Tlaib asked the American government to cut off financial aids to the Israeli government. Tel Aviv, which considers Omar’s presence in the Congress as a threat to its interests, had in 2019 banned her from visiting the occupied territories. In recent years, Omar was repeatedly threatened by pro-Israel lawmakers, but she has never backed down from her publicly stated positions and has always defended the rights of Palestinians who have been under Israeli oppression for nearly eight decades.
Omar’s stances against the American government’s plans
In addition to her anti-Israeli occupation positions, Omar has frequently opposed the US policies concerning the human rights violations. Reacting to the US military’s apology and admission that the deadly attack on Kabul airport that killed 10 civilians was a mistake, Omar said that the US should pay compensation for the lives lost and launch a universal investigation. She stressed that thousands of people have been killed during covert and irresponsible US drone operations in the last two decades and Washington must hold responsible all behind those attacks.
In reaction to entrenched Islamophobia and racism in the US, she in August 2019 promised to disclose the suppression system working under Trump.
Omar, along with three female members of the House of Representatives, criticized Trump’s plans regarding Mexican immigrants and said that public opinion should pay more attention to this issue, and they even called for the impeachment of the president by arguing that his actions are racist. She even voted against a Trump version of $4.5 billion bill for humanitarian crisis on the US-Mexico border.
This Muslim lawmaker also criticized Trump’s inhumane actions, saying that the sanctions have caused the death of thousands of Iranians and deprived Iran of necessary medicines during coronavirus outbreak. Criticizing the Trump administration’s coronavirus measures that led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans, Omar called for prosecutions against those responsible for the deaths.
Strongly opposed to Trump’s human rights policies, Omar censured the White House for arms sales, saying that Saudi Arabia, the largest buyer of the American weapons, is the most disastrous abuser of the human rights and is responsible for Yemen’s famine and cholera epidemic but the Washington still supplies it with arms.
Expulsion of a Muslim lawmaker from the congressional committee made it clear that the American claims of advocacy for human rights are false, and this claim only works with non-conforming countries and not with the Israeli regime, and anyone criticizing Tel Aviv crimes pays a high cost. With this good service to Tel Aviv with a Trump lobbying, the Republicans seek to persuade the Zionist lobby to throw its weight behind their favorable candidate in the 2024 elections.