Fox News is getting a new right wing populist on the bandwagon that will appeal to both voters and his colleagues on Capitol Hill.
Omar’s accusation of American anti-Muslim bias comes two weeks after Ilhan Omar spoke to fellow Minnesota Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison’s anti-Israeli activists after being denied entry to an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) event. The Somali-American Democrat now says her trip made her “feel unsafe in our country.”
The author of the story has been tied to a terror organization in the past, and the reporting was later reportedly withdrawn from the New York Times.
When she was denied entry to the annual gathering held by the pro-Israel organization last month, Omar told Ellison she would not “attend” the event and suggested that her political inexperience led to her failure to gain access.
Ellison told her in a private meeting that “she had made reference to anti-Semitism as a reason for not attending” and went on to add, “You know that to be true.”
Omar previously called Ellison a “brother” and said in her speech to Ellison’s delegation that Ellison’s presence there, because of his Muslim faith, provided him with “fresh perspective.”
After being denied entry at the event, Omar said she was “removed” from the conference “by Israeli guards” and blamed “personal vendettas” for her efforts to ensure she was removed.
An unnamed Democratic lawmaker accused Omar of being “skeptical of U.S. allies in part because they have policies that are most unpopular in the Muslim world” and without a clear understanding of “radical Islamic terrorism.”
AAPAC’s chief executive said his organization hopes Ellison’s meeting with Omar will lead to a “thorough exploration” of concerns about anti-Muslim bias in the U.S.
“If nothing else comes out of the meeting, hopefully a common understanding will emerge between the two,” said Chris Ephron, founder and CEO of the lobbying organization that supports Israel.
Omar came to the U.S. from Somalia in 2007, the same year she underwent her cultural and religious transformation to be a Muslim convert. In 2016, a Minneapolis synagogue launched a petition calling on Omar to retract a Facebook post in which she said she would go “to war” with Israel.
Both Ellison and Omar have denied they are anti-Semitic, insisting that they are both big fans of the Jewish community.
“Congressman Ellison agrees with you about making our country stronger, more inclusive, and a more prosperous place,” Ellison told anti-Israel activists in a private meeting last week.
If he was taking a real anti-Muslim stand, one would expect that Ellison would “insist” that Omar travel to Israel or elsewhere to “understand the anti-Muslim prejudice she has expressed,” or at least “truly appreciate” that he believes in Israel.
In her public response to Ellison’s political failure to secure access to a pro-Israel event he was invited to, Omar told the Zionist Organization of America that Ellison has no “idea of how to effectively talk to an anti-Semite,” like President Trump.
She asked: “What reason is there for the very same people to claim that I am anti-Semitic just because my record on Israel includes voting for (Brett) Kavanaugh to be a judge?”
She again used the accusations that Trump is a “notorious anti-Semite,” to claim that Ellison is simply being “mischaracterized.”
“He was wrong to say it, and I will apologize,” Ellison told supporters.
Ellison did not apologize for locking eyes with Omar and promising support for the Somali refugee in 2007 — despite the Somali refugees’ known radicalization, provided from connections Omar made while living with Ellison and his wife in the Minneapolis area.
Instead, he has reiterated that he did nothing wrong in locking eyes with her and that he is “proud” of their friendship.
Ellison accused American anti-Muslim bias, yet he personally voted for a bill that authorizes the secretary of defense to withhold financing from groups that seek to harm the state of Israel. He also voted in favor of “Pro-Israel Terror Act” that expands tax credits and tax exemptions to certain individuals and groups, including groups with ties to Hamas.
While Ellison has been clear about his stance to support Israel, it was to Omar that he opened the door — to the Somali refugee’s benefit.