The Numbers Behind Ilhan Omar’s AIPAC Tweet

Republicans and Democrats criticized Ilhan Omar, the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, after she tweeted that Republican support for Israel is linked to cash, particularly from the powerful pro-Israel group AIPAC. Jerry Nadler, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, called Omar’s remarks “deeply disappointing and disturbing” and said she “appears to traffic in old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Omar’s “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.’

At the same time, some Americans rushed to Omar’s defense. “Lobbies influence politics, I don’t think that’s controversial to say,” said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace. “It’s not anti-Semitic to accurately describe something that is completely obvious about the Israeli lobby,” tweeted Brandon Friedman, a former Obama official who heads a public-relations agency whose clients address national security and defense issues.

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