Ilhan Omar Says She Didn’t Know About Antisemitic Tropes

Some on Twitter didn’t buy her argument.
January 31, 2023
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks during a press conference held outside of the U.S. Capitol Building on June 14, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on January 29 that she didn’t know that some of her past statements were considered to be antisemitic tropes.

Omar, discussing being kicked off the House Foreign Affairs by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), said, per Fox News, that she “did not [know] or was not aware that the word ‘hypnotized’ was a trope. I wasn’t aware of the fact that there are tropes about Jews and money. That has been very enlightening part of this journey. To insinuate that I knowingly said these things when people have read into my comments to make it sound as if I have something against the Jewish community is so wrong.”

Some on Twitter didn’t buy her argument. Representative Max Miller (R-OH), a former Trump aide who is Jewish, tweeted, “Lazy stereotypes about Jews & money are some of the oldest anti-Semitic tropes in the book. I have a hard time buying these claims of ignorance. Ilhan Omar has no place serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

Avi Mayer, who previously worked for the American Jewish Committee as their Managing Director for Public Affairs, tweeted: “Ilhan Omar employed one antisemitic trope in 2012, after which she said learned all about antisemitism ‘from Jewish orgs.’ She then employed another one in 2019. But she didn’t know there are tropes about Jews and money? Who believes this stuff?”

“Right, and I wasn’t aware the earth was round,” International Legal Forum CEO Arsen Ostrovsky tweeted in response to Omar’s remarks. “I hope no [one] believes Omar, a liar and unrepentant antisemite. She does not deserve to be on the House Foreign Affairs [Committee].”

Former New York Democratic State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who heads the Americans Against Antisemitism watchdog, tweeted: “Ilhan Omar definitely learned a LOT about antisemitic tropes… Omar discovered that if she focuses on ‘Israel’ and ‘Zionists’ instead of ‘Jews’ she can promote the same blood libels and get away with it without looking like an overt neo-Nazi à la Kanye…”

The Republican Party of Minnesota tweeted, “There is no excuse for antisemitism. It is beyond time for the Democrat Party to call out the blatant and persistent antisemitism of extremists like [Omar].”

Joel M. Petlin, Superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District, tweeted: “When Congresswoman Ilhan Omar says she didn’t know that she was spouting Antisemitic lines, what she really means is that she didn’t think that there would be a consequence for her Antisemitism. And frankly, until @SpeakerMcCarthy came along, there really wasn’t any consequences.”

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