the antisemitism of Ilhan Omar


First things first: Ilhan Omar, of course, is not responsible for the potential crimes that her father may or may not have committed. I also don’t know what she was or was not taught at home. It’s worth noting Ilhan only ever had the highest praise for her father, who passed in 2020. They allegedly had a close relationship. 

Nur Omar Mohamed, Omar’s father, was, according to Somali journalist Ibrahim Hirsi, an “esteemed senior colonel” in Siad Barre’s army, who led the Somali invasion of the Somali region of Ethiopia in the late 1970s. Nur Omar Mohammed “led a significant role in the war” and “was one of the officers who were recognized for their work.”

In the 1970s, the dictator Siad Barre began heavily persecuting the Isaaqs, an ethnic group hailing from Somaliland, including the Somali region of Ethiopia. Barre’s persecution of the Isaaqs culminated in genocide between 1987-1989. Speaking of the genocide, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded: “Based on the totality of evidence collected in Somaliland and elsewhere both during and after his mission, the consultant firmly believes that the crime of genocide was conceived, planned and perpetrated by the Somali Government against the Isaaq people of northern Somalia between 1987 and 1989.”

Barre’s regime was so repressive that in 2001, the United Nations Development program stated that "the 21-year regime of Siad Barre had one of the worst human rights records in Africa."

After the Somali invasion of Ethiopia, during which he was a top colonel, Omar’s father worked as a “teacher trainer” for the regime. Because documentation of the Barre regime is notoriously difficult to find, we don’t know exactly what that means; however, people familiar with what the regime was like conclude that this most certainly meant he pushed state propaganda. 

Here’s where things get interesting. Much of the state propaganda against and persecution of the Isaaqs was rooted in the conspiracy that they are not actually of Arab descent, but that they are Jews (this is not true. The Isaaqs are predominantly Muslim). The conspiracy is so pervasive that in 2001 the government of Saudi Arabia gifted the Isaaq clan with a certificate confirming their Arab lineage.

But it gets even more interesting. The only country to ever speak up against the Isaaq genocide at the United Nations was the State of Israel, when, in 1990, Israel’s then Acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations submitted a letter to the Security Council in support of the Isaaq people. 

In the early 1980s, rebels began a campaign to depose Barre. This culminated in the Somali Civil War. Barre was overthrown in 1991, which then allegedly prompted the Omar family to flee Somalia. 

Ilhan Omar and her family spent four years in a refugee camp, before receiving asylum to the United States in 1995.

Several other members of Omar’s family, including her grandfather, worked for the Barre regime.

Twitter user describes his family's experience — and the antisemitic propaganda — during the Isaaq Genocide. 



Ilhan Omar has a long, long history of making antisemitic comments. Most infamously, in 2019, Omar accused “Israel” of buying off American politicians, stating, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!”

Projecting antisemitic tropes onto the world’s only Jewish state is antisemitic. Israel is far, far from the only country to have lobbyists in Washington DC. She “apologized,” claiming she had no previous knowledge of tropes about Jews and money. Personally, I find this incredibly unlikely, especially given her father’s role in the Siad Barre regime and the antisemitic propaganda surrounding the persecution of the Isaaqs.

Omar also accused Jewish Democrats of being more loyal to Israel than to the United States, employing the ancient antisemitic trope of dual loyalty which has gotten Jews killed for centuries. 

In 2021, Omar put the Taliban, Hamas, and Israel on the same boat. 

Also in 2021, Omar claimed that her fellow Jewish Congressmen and women have “not been partners in justice.” This is ironic given the long history of Jews in social justice movements; for example, Magnus Hirschfeld, a Jewish sexologist, was the first person to create a trans rights organization. 

In 2021, Omar voted against replenishing the Iron Dome — a missile defense system that does not fire weapons against Palestinians, but rather simply protects Israelis from indiscriminate missile attacks. In other words, she voted against protecting half of the world’s Jewish population from indiscriminate murder. 

This year, Ilhan Omar was removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee given her track record of antisemitism. This resolution, which was led by the Republican Party, was certainly political in nature, given there are plenty of antisemites in the GOP (once again, antisemitism is being used as a political weapon, dehumanizing Jews). 



The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is an inter-governmental organization with over 30 member countries. IHRA unites governments with Holocaust experts to strengthen and advance Holocaust education, research, and remembrance. In 2016, IHRA adopted what is known as the “Working Definition of Antisemitism.”

The IHRA Working Definition provides a number of examples regarding what can and cannot be considered antisemitic. One point states: “applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation [is antisemitic].”

Antisemitism is a bigotry not only directed at Jewish individuals or individuals perceived to be Jewish, but most importantly, a bigotry directed at the Jewish People as a collective. There is nothing more “collective” about the Jewish People than the State of Israel. For this reason, applying double standards to Israel is antisemitic.

Ilhan Omar has a long track record of antisemitic double standards and hyper-fixation on the wrongdoings, real or perceived, of the State of Israel. For example, in 2022, 48 percent of her Tweets were directed at Israel. In 2021, a whopping 79 percent of her Tweets were directed at Israel. Omar is a Representative in the United States government. You’d think the majority of her Tweets would be addressing American issues, but that’s not the case.

Additionally, Ilhan Omar recently stated there is “no way” she would attend Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s address to Congress. One of the many reasons she listed is Israel’s current right-wing governing coalition. But Isaac Herzog is not a part of that coalition, nor is he right-wing. Herzog is in the Labor party, and politically he aligns as center-left. He has also been deeply critical of the right-wing coalition. The president of Israel has an honorific role. Boycotting him is, as @politicaljew stated, akin to boycotting Nancy Pelosi to oppose Trump. Even more ironic is that Herzog was invited to speak because the White House did not want to invite current Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing coalition. 

It gets worse. Omar has a history of meeting with tyrants with long track records of egregious human rights violations, including Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, who is a Taliban supporter. Omar also visited Qatar for the World Cup, despite Qatar’s crimes against humanity, including slavery. 

Omar also opposes sanctions…usually. For example, she voted against sanctioning Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, and she opposes sanctioning Turkey’s Erdogan. As far as Israel is concerned, however, she is an avid supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which not only has a long history of antisemitism, but also calls for sanctioning Israel. 




Ilhan Omar has a long history of disinformation against Israel, the world’s only Jewish state. Recently, she went on a Twitter rant that was entirely full of half truths and blatant lies. 



Though initially Tlaib was kept from visiting the West Bank due to her support for a movement that seeks the destruction of Israel, which unsurprisingly goes against Israeli law, she did receive permission to visit her grandmother in the end — and chose not to. 



Omar was not banned for being Muslim. Israel has had Knesset Muslim female ministers long before the United States had a Muslim congresswoman. Muslims fly in and out of Israel every single day, given 18 percent of Israelis are Muslim. 


This is a reference to an unconfirmed quote. It’s also a joke that she is pretending to support a two state solution, given she supports BDS. 



2002 was a far deadlier year in the West Bank. Additionally, she conveniently forgets to mention that the 12 deaths are confirmed combatants for an internationally-recognized terrorist group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which operates as a proxy for the Islamic Republic of Iran — the very same people currently terrorizing Iranian women, Kurds, and Iranians opposing the regime. 

If the largest incursion into the West Bank results in ZERO civilian casualties, that’s commendable. 

Here we see Palestinian Islamic Jihad claiming some of its terrorists. 



Omar conveniently omits that, unlike aid to other countries in the Middle East, Israel is by law obligated to invest most of this aid back into the American economy. 


It’s ironic that Omar accuses Jewish members of Congress of holding dual loyalties — while also accusing the Israeli prime minister of “defying” Obama, as if the Israeli prime minister works for the United States. Additionally, virtually everyone — most of all, Middle East experts — attacked Obama’s Middle Eastern policy. 



Notorious antisemite, white supremacist, and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke praised Ilhan Omar in 2019 for her antisemitic comments. 

She has never disavowed his support. 

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