Obama Ambassador to Israel: Omar Should Be Condemned by All Democrats for 'Outrageous Comments'

Dan Shapiro (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
February 11, 2019

Former Obama administration Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro called on all Democrats to condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) for her "outrageous" claims that American politicians support Israel because they're paid off.

Omar, who frequently has to deny she's an anti-Semite, stepped into controversy again on Sunday when she suggested in a tweet that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) was being paid off to criticize her and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) for their anti-Israel stances.

When asked by a liberal magazine editor who exactly was paying politicians to support Israel, she wrote back "AIPAC," the pro-Israel lobbying group.

Even some progressives criticized Omar for the tweets, which they said smacked of anti-Semitic tropes against American Jews. Shapiro, who was appointed to the post by Obama in 2011 and served until 2017, sent a flurry of tweets Monday morning that called for Omar to be "condemned by all in our party."

He noted Democrats were largely quiet when Omar flip-flopped on her support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, known as BDS.

"Her support for BDS is apparently her essence: blaming Israel alone for the conflict, absolving Palestinians of all responsibility, delegitimizing Israel's very existence, &accusing its supporters of shallow motives &manipulation by Jewish money," he wrote.

"Her approach indicates she doesn't want to be a consensus builder or understand others' views. She wants to push her extreme view, embarrassing her Democratic colleagues who inevitably are asked to respond. She's made herself a lightning rod. It will isolate her. And it should," she wrote.

He said her positions would only serve to further isolate her in the debate.

Omar's latest tweets were also condemned by conservatives and some fellow liberals, including Chelsea Clinton and Democratic Reps. Max Rose (N.Y.), Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.), Tom Suozzi (N.Y.), and Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.), and Donna Shalala (Fla.).