Omar Grins After Audience Member Celebrates 'All About the Benjamins' Tweet

February 28, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) grinned Wednesday night as a progressive audience member repeated her infamous "all about the Benjamins" tweet suggesting pro-Israel politicians are paid off to support the Jewish state.

Omar, alongside fellow Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), and Mark Pocan (D., Wis.) spoke at a "Progressives Issues Town Hall" held in Washington, D.C.'s Busboys and Poets cafe. The moderator asked Tlaib and Omar how they could criticize Israel for its "war crimes" without being pegged as anti-Semitic.

Tlaib, a Palestinian-American and, like Omar, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, answered first and said she worked to share untold stories of Palestinians in the conflict. She said it is about "love."

As Omar was about to speak next, an audience member shouted out, "It is about the Benjamins," a reference to Omar's tweet earlier this month that said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) wanted to punish her and Tlaib's anti-Israel rhetoric because he was being paid off.

Omar grinned, and Tlaib looked to the side and smiled while taking a drink, seemingly suggesting she agreed with the sentiment, in a moment noted by Jewish Insider.

Omar also tweeted this month that AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying group, was paying off politicians to support Israel. She was eventually forced to apologize, although she said this week it was about how she made people feel, not about being anti-Semitic.

Tlaib has suggested pro-Israel politicians have dual loyalties, a classic anti-Semitic canard, and Omar has repeatedly been dogged by anti-Semitic controversies, before and since taking office. She tweeted in 2012 Israel had "hypnotized" the world with its "evil" actions, declared it's amusing to her that the Jewish state is considered a democracy, and supported BDS, which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has called anti-Semitism in action.