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The Shameful Attack that Backfired

The Shameful Attack that Backfired

James Zogby

What happened to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was troubling. On the one hand, because she dared to challenge the way supporters of Israel have worked to silence debate on US policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she became a victim of incitement, and the target of legislation meant to shame her. At the same time, however, the heavy-handed tactics employed against her by some pro-Israel members of Congress backfired, exposing new fault lines in the US-Israel relationship.

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This Wholly Secular individual finds it awesome that Israel’s tactics are revealed through umbrage to a Muslim American’s integrity to the Constitution that she swore to uphold. Right on Omar! You out-Americaned your critics by leaps and bounds. Thanks for your courage and stay safe. You are a role model for truth telling, which is unfortunately bought at a significant price. Your constituents should be proud of their selection of you as their representative. Thanks for being a great American!

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Funny thing, freedom. We send our military around the globe to bring freedom to those who don’t have it, but let somebody try to exercise that freedom—as Colin Kaepernick, for just one example, did not so long ago—and look how he was treated.

There’s more to being a great American than silent obedience—much more. The Congresswoman’s courage is exemplary, especiallly since she can’t have been unaware of the likley repercussions.

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That Ilhan Omar a dark skinned person wearing a Hijab and daring to question White people about their policies towards persons of color also played a role in those attacks against her. Master might have claimed to have granted Freedom, but still demands your obedience in return for that “freedom”.

Those attemtping to pass this resolution did not expect that sort of backlash because they were relying on the support of fellow racists…

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“Wholly Secular” seems to fit ideally between “Holy Secular,” which is when someone is self-righteous and dogmatic about their own secularism, and “Holey Secular,” which is when their secularist arguments need better back-up. “Wholly Secular” seems like a sweet spot!

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Aw, c’mon! You know better than that!

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Busted!

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Thanks, I am just of this world–it has more than enough challenges for me.

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I wouldn’t have said anything but it was a surprise coming from you!

In the US of A “Freedom” is more a slogan than a true goal.

This has been true throughout its History, if you are willing to look our embracing of slavery as a primary contradiction, or minimally, an acceptance of the definition of what it is to be “3/5 of a human.”

So, if we can be honest and open, any 'freedom" we have supported as a nation, has been severely limited from the get-go. Originally only white land-owning men were included as citizens, then after much struggle, slowly others were added. Please, LET US STOP FOOLING OURSELVES, and deal with … Facts.

Laborers never had the freedom of owners. Some immigrants had more freedom than others. … and FORGET Indigenous Americans who simply never did count except as those who had to be defeated and robbed, or counted as … corpses, when their children were stolen and placed into religious schools to have their minds (culture, souls) oriented to fit the western “mold.” FREEDOM, eh?

Economically, freedom has effectively been defined as liberty to manipulate the marketplace as seen fit, independent of any consequences. Those who suffered negatively from some of these machinations, did NOT enjoy THEIR freedom to alter the situation that affected them negatively. Thus in the USA, freedom has become intricately connected to … power.

Those armed and sent abroad to fight and die for “freedom” do so, often without understanding that they are merely defending a power structure which decides WHO has some freedom and who does not, not freedom itself.

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Ilhan Omar’s first ‘transgression’ was to blame “the benjamins” for the craven servitude that most in congress exhibit toward Israel. At the time I felt that she vastly underestimated the effect that their threats, intimidation and extortion wielded compared to their campaign contributions. That fact has been clearly and exquisitely proven by her attackers brazen and demonstrably false claims. The long accepted and widely criticized influence of the NRA over our legislature pales in comparison to that of AIPAC. They have had an iron grip on U.S. foreign policy since at least Reagan, and now have expanded into state and local politics. They target not only elected officials but personally harass and vilify individuals who dare post pro-Palestinian views. To ignore the obvious while spinning false narratives about ‘Russian Meddling’ is lunacy straight out of ‘Animal Farm’ or ‘1984’.

There is no question as to whether we still live in a functional democracy. The only question is whether those ostensibly democratic institutions can still be salvaged, and whether or not they deserve to be.

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We need a Congress full of people as courageous and incisive as Omar.

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That this issue remains in the headlines, and has now drawn in prominent talking heads at FoxNews who spew bigotry, is more proof that Ilhan Omar’s (and Rashida Tlaib’s) shining a light is working.

Meanwhile, BDS.

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“Americans are free to do exactly what they are told”. Ward Churchill.

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Since you mentioned the Russia nonsense, here is Caitlin Johnstone wrapping up that silly canard.

Peace
Po

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  1. Ignorantly, I’ll admit I don’t know just how much the Israeli Lobby’s power has increased. But I’m going to guess that it is related to the increase of U.S. right wing power generally in the last 40 years.

  2. But one important point of Zogby’s - such power as AIPAC has depends on the right wing, Republican strategy of being ‘hawkish’ on Israel in an effort to attract mainly liberal Jews, and, thereby, gain domestic political advantage.

In other words - as with the Cold War - despite being a ‘foreign policy’ issue, the political purposes and stakes of Republicans being ‘pro-Israel’ are mainly domestic.

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I’m hard-pressed to name a single aspect of foreign policy that ISN’T driven by domestic political concerns.

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Good piece about Representative Omar at Consortium News.

Peace
Po

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A letter to the SF Chronicle they didn’t print:

Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, one of the first two Moslem women to be elected to Congress, is under fire for saying supporters of Israel want pledge of “allegiance to a foreign country.”

Is she wrong? Consider the following quote:

“Of course, we say it’s our land, the Torah says it, but they [the Palestinians] don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace. They invent other reasons, but they do not believe in a Jewish state and that is why we, in America, must stand strong with Israel through thick and thin.”

This was Chuck Schumer, speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most influential lobbying group for Israel. Schumer is a US Senator, supposedly loyal to the US, but when he said “our land”, he was referring to Israel, and using the Jewish bible to justify support for this supposedly secular country.

Schumer’s statement is a disgrace. It should be he that gets called on the carpet. Ms. Omar has every right to see this as craven subservience to a foreign country.

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Our dollar chasing friends that the right-wing supports, is itself supported by a cabal of world bankers and oil gurus. I suppose our money grubbers that will stop at nothing to soak the public citizens, found themselves in bed with a bevy of bed bugs. One as nasty as the next. I don’t foresee any changing of heart from these parasites. Only extermination will do.