Ilhan Omar Knows What She's Doing

The Democratic congresswoman says she has always been somebody who 'understands how words can be harmful and hurtful to people.' We believe her.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) / Getty Images

The Jews can never seem to live up to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D., Minn.) exacting standards.

The Minnesota congresswoman’s latest broadside came Tuesday afternoon, when she told CNN’s Jake Tapper that her Jewish Democratic colleagues "haven’t been partners in justice" and have yet to apologize for their allegedly Islamophobic comments.

Omar’s statement came after Tapper asked whether she regrets her comments last month comparing the United States and Israel with terrorist organizations like Hamas and the Taliban. Her answer was unequivocal: "I don’t."

That’s funny, because Omar at the time "clarified" that statement, which elicited a rebuke from Democratic leaders and a dozen Jewish Democrats, saying that she did not say what in fact she said: "I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries." To be clear, she also believes Israel is a terrorist nation.

Omar, as the kids say, is owning her truth. Her tap dance follows a pattern that is by now well established, in which the justice-seeking congresswoman makes nakedly prejudicial remarks, pretends to walk them back in the face of muted criticism from her colleagues, characterizes the criticism itself as Islamophobic, and proceeds to reoffend.

That pattern gives the lie to the apology Omar issued after arguing that American support for Israel is "all about the Benjamins, baby": Her offenses were born of ignorance rather than prejudice, she said, and thanked her colleagues for "educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes."

Omar could give a master class on anti-Semitism, and the pattern of her offenses makes clear she is using that knowledge to perpetuate it. That’s probably why a Punchbowl News report earlier this month indicated that "a number of Omar’s fellow Democrats believe Omar is an anti-Semite, even if they don’t say so publicly."

It is, of course, the only prejudice about which Democrats are tight-lipped and the only one tolerated in the party’s ranks.

It is also the latest indication that the party is following in the footsteps of the British left, led until recently by Squad ally Jeremy Corbyn. A report from the United Kingdom's Equality and Human Rights Commission implicated not just Corbyn, whose offenses are legion, but the Labour Party itself, which "at best, did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it."

To the extent there is resistance in the Democratic Party to Omar’s relentless attacks on Jews and her condemnations of American power and influence, surely it is driven at least in part by the shellacking the British left took in the last national election there.

Should the Democrats continue down this path, we have faith that the outcome for the left will be the same here as in Britain, and that the more they see of Omar and her allies, the dimmer their prospects become.