August 20, 2019

Democrats Respond to Rep. Omar Tweet About AIPAC, ‘Benjamins’

Screenshot from Twitter.

On Feb. 10, freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), responded to a post by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R-Calif.), where he said Democrats should act on Omar’s anti-Israel statements.

“We took action on our own side. I think when they stay silent, they are just as guilty,” McCarthy said Friday, according to The Washington Post. “I think this will not be the end of this.”

Omar responded: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” a slang term for money.

Batya Ungar-Sargon, an editor at The Forward followed up that tweet with a question: “Would love to know who @IlhanMN thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess.”

“AIPAC!” Omar tweeted back (but has since removed it).

The American Israel Public Affair Committee (AIPAC), as its own website states, does not contribute to politicians.

The tweet did not go unnoticed by members of Omar’s own party – who took to Twitter to blast her response.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y). chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, of which Omar is a member wrote:

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, who is Jewish, said

Rep. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla), chairman of the Ethics Committee responded:

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Appropriations committee wrote:

Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), another member of the “freshman class” posted:

Democratic leadership posted a letter on behalf of Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-Mass.)

The ADL also released a statement in response:

Voices on the other side of the aisle, including Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), have called for Omar to be removed from her committee role:

Omar recently apologized for a 2012 tweet in which where she accused Israel of “hypnotizing” the world, acknowledging that she had unwittingly echoed anti-Semitic themes.