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US congresswoman Ilhan Omar accused of using antisemitic tropes with Israel tweets

Chelsea Clinton, whose husband is Jewish, was among those to criticise Ms Omar’s tweets

    Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat representing Michigan
    Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a Democrat representing Michigan (Photo: Getty Images)

    A US congresswoman has been accused of antisemitism after she sent a tweet suggesting that support for Israel in the United States was all about money.

    Ilhan Omar, who was elected to the House of Representatives in November, sent two tweets which suggested that support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” - a reference to hundred dollar bills - and that funding from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) was responsible for US support for Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

    Responding to Ms Omar’s tweet about the “Benjamins”, Forward journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon, wrote she “would love to know" who Ms Omar "thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, though I think I can guess.

    "Bad form, Congresswoman. That's the second anti-Semitic trope you've tweeted.”

    Ms Omar tweeted her back answering: “AIPAC!”

    Aipac responded said it was “proud” to engage in “the democratic process to strengthen the US Israel relationship.

    “Our bipartisan efforts are reflective of American values and interests. We will not be deterred in any way by ill-informed and illegitimate attacks on this important work.”

    Chelsea Clinton, whose husband is Jewish, was one of a number of people to criticise Ms Omar’s tweets.

    "We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in antisemitism," she wrote on Twitter.

    Congressman Max Rose, who is a Jewish combat veteran, was one of the first Democrats to criticise Ms Omar for the perceived antisemitism.

    Mr Rose said: "Implying that Americans support Israel because of money alone is offensive. Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself."

    The American Jewish Committee called on Ms Omar to apologise.

    It said: “Suggesting that a Jewish organization is buying off American politicians is both demonstrably false and stunningly antisemitic. American politicians are pro-Israel because Americans are.”

    Last month, Ms Omar apologised after a tweet which said "Israel has hypnotised the world" was criticised by her colleagues for its antisemitic undertones.

    The tweet from 2012 said that "Israel has hypnotised the world" to carry out “evil doings.”

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