- After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referenced her at this year’s AIPAC conference, Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar took a jab at the world leader’s legal woes in a tweet.
- Netanyahu went after Omar for suggesting US lawmakers support Israel due to money from AIPAC.
- Ilhan Omar responded to Netanyahu’s jab in a tweet, stating, “This from a man facing indictments for bribery and other crimes in three separate public corruption affairs. Next!”
- “It’s been interesting to see such a powerful conference of people be so fearful of a freshman member of Congress so I hope that they figure out a way to not allow me to have a permanent residency in their heads,” Omar added in separate comments to reporters.
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday hit back at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the world leader referenced the freshman lawmaker at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy conference.
At the conference, the Israeli leader appeared to reference comments made by Omar last month about Republican lawmakers and AIPAC. In tweets last month, Omar suggested that US-Israel policy is “all about the Benjamins baby,” or money, and when asked to clarify she simply stated, “AIPAC.”
In remarks delivered via satellite, Netanyahu said, “Take it from this Benjamin, it’s not about the Benjamins!” The Israeli leader said the US-Israel relationship is not because of money but due to shared values.
“The reason…is not because they want our money. It’s because they share our values,” Netanyahu said. “It’s because America and Israel share a love of freedom and democracy. It’s because we cherish individual rights and the rule of law.”
Omar responded to Netanyahu’s slight in a tweet, stating, “This from a man facing indictments for bribery and other crimes in three separate public corruption affairs. Next!”
In late February, Israel’s attorney general Avichai Mandelblit announced his office planned to indict Netanyahu on corruption charges, pending a hearing. The announcement came as Netanyahu is running for reelection in the country’s national elections, which are set to take place on April 9.
In separate comments to reporters on Tuesday, Omar added, “It’s been interesting to see such a powerful conference of people be so fearful of a freshman member of Congress so I hope that they figure out a way to not allow me to have a permanent residency in their heads.”
Netanyahu’s comments on Omar on Tuesday were not the first negative reference to the freshman Democrat at this year’s AIPAC conference. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer both delivered veiled jabs at Omar in their remarks at AIPAC.
Sen. Chuck Schumer at #AIPAC: "When someone looks at a neo-Nazi rally and sees some, 'very fine people' among its company, we must call it out. When someone suggests money drives support for Israel, we must call it out." pic.twitter.com/6UIQTOwAom
— The Hill (@thehill) March 26, 2019
Omar has faced accusations of anti-Semitism over her comments toward Israel, which led her to issue an apology last month. Separate comments made by Omar in February led House Democratic leaders to draft a resolution condemning anti-Semitism.
After the resolution’s drafting, some supporters argued that the freshman lawmaker was being unfairly targeted and Democratic leaders eventually broadened the resolution to focus on various types of bigotry and hate.
Netanyahu was at the White House on Monday to join President Donald Trump as the president signed a proclamation formally recognising the Golan Heights, one of the world’s most disputed territories, as part of Israel.
Trump has been a staunch ally of Netanyahu’s since entering the White House, and has also joined the chorus of criticism toward Omar and her stance on Israel.
The president has gone as far as to suggest that Democrats are now an anti-Israel, anti-Jewish party. Of the 34 Jewish lawmakers in Congress, all but two are Democrats.
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