Monday, March 11, 2019

The Ilhan Omar Kerfuffle- Another Reich Wing Tactic To Divide The Dems

 Left:: Hillary Clinton pandering to reactionary lobbyists of AIPAC in March, 2015. Right:Ilhan Omar, now the target of a smear campaign by the Right and Xtian Evangelical Repukes.

"The demonization of Rep. Ilhan Omar is a hari-kari move for the party, led by people dug in against almost any real change, doing as little as possible about all the actual crises. Demonizing a forthright congresswoman from Minnesota, who came to this country as a 12-year-old refugee from Somalia, is reactionary, mindless, unjustified and fundamentally stupid. Stupid? Yes, stupid, because it helps Republicans inflame division among Democrats with no offsetting gain."  - William Boardman,  "The Sins Of Ilhan Omar Star With Challenging Rigid Orthodoxy', (see link at end)

After the midterm blue wave and the election of Minnesota Muslim Ilhan Omar, I told Janice it wouldn't be three months before she'd be attacked for some specious, overblown BS.  Well, I was only off by a couple months as Twitter and the forlorn Dems "blew up" after a comment (tweet) by Omar which was highlighted in a recent blog post by William Boardman:

"So what is the case against Ilhan Omar? There are a variety of alleged “smoking guns” claimed against Omar, all of which, on close examination, shoot blanks. The one that touched off the current rush to misjudgment was a short, simple tweet on February 10, 2018, here in its entirety:

“It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” [musical-notes emoji]

This is obviously a quote from a Puff Daddy song (on the album “No Way Out,” 1997), that’s what the musical notes mean. The quote is about as anti-Semitic as saying, “Money makes the world go ‘round.” It’s not anti-Semitic, it’s just true, in a pretty obvious and superficial way. It’s also a truth widely subjected to political denial."

So there you have it: one tweet interpreted in ignorance and out of context,  triggers yet another division - this time within the Dems - because too many "centrists" are still tied to the AIPAC  (America-Israel Political Action Committee) lobby.  But this goes back to when Hillary pandered to this lot three years ago.

In the case of her March, 2016 AIPAC speech,  Clinton meant every word of her saber rattling.  She professed unashamed backing of  AIPAC's Israeli nationalist agenda and even supported the warmonger Bibi Netanyahu  - who has a thing about taking out Iran-    even if it vaporizes the Middle East and Israel with it.

For the memory lapsed recall that a year before Hillary's bowing and scraping to AIPAC, Netanyahu delivered an hysterical performance on Capitol Hill.  At the invitation of the Repukes, and with fire-breathing rhetoric, "Bibi" blasted any deal apart from total Iranian nuclear disarmament and - effectively -  demanded the only alternative had to be war.

Bibi's histrionics even caught the attention of Philip Stephens  in a Financial Times article on Mar. 5, 2015  ('The Answer for Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu Is War Against Iran')  which highlighted the total awkward impropriety of it all.   Of course, the Repugs would lap it up as they're always looking for wars as a means to ramp up deficits to find excuses to cut social spending.

What was most puzzling was how this unhinged Irsraeli jackass - who more and more resembles the 'boy who cried 'Wolf!' -  has any creds left, especially after the EU and most European states "shut him out" (according to Stephens) long ago. His rants became so predictable and the over the top rhetoric so absurd that they basically tuned him out. But not the warmongering Neocons (and their evangelical allies salivating for Jews to fulfill their Armageddon prophesies) in the U.S.  

Stephens also observed that Israel's own security and political establishment - including former generals and other officials- had been critical of the speech and believed its only effect to be "a clear and present danger to Israel".

According to one observer attending the AIPAC  2016 event:

"The speech that Hillary Clinton gave to AIPAC took pandering to a new level,

As he continued, quoted in a piece:

Clinton promised to never be neutral and yet most Americans consistently express that they want the United States to be even-handed between Israel and the Palestinians. When one looks at public opinion among Democrats alone, this sentiment is even stronger and sympathy for Palestinians is even higher. This is especially true in the progressive base of the Democratic party — indeed the future of the party — made up of youth and minorities.”

Meanwhile, the social justice group Jewish Voice for Peace, or JVP, which is very critical of the Israeli government and its oppression of the Palestinians, blasted Clinton for her remarks. Rebecca Vilkomerson, the executive director of JVP, said in a statement that the discussion at AIPAC “relies on racist and Islamophobic tropes to justify unquestioning support for Israel.”

She went on to say:

"From Democrats to Republicans, the message is the same: more arms for Israel, a stronger relationship between Israel and the U.S., no mention of Palestinian rights, and no recognition of the impossible contradiction of being both democratic and Jewish when the state is predicated on maintaining systems of unequal rights and rule by military occupation,”

Now back to Ilhan Omar. American University Professor Pamela S. Nadell has  correctly noted (Sunday Denver Post, Perspective, March 10) that in one of the tweets that got so many worked up, Omar wrote:

"I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in congress or serve on committee"

Pointing out that "she didn't say or even imply anything at all about the Jews. She said she was being asked to support Israel in order to have the privilege of serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee, which was true."

Then nailing it:

"Dual loyalty is precisely what AIPAC demands and what it gets. Again, it makes this demand not of Jews but of every member of congress and even of politicians at the state level whom you wouldn't think would be conducting foreign policy and it works. "

Well, indeed it works because no congress critter wants to be called "anti-Semitic" or some permutation of it.  Am I an "anti-Semitic"? No, not at all, merely someone intelligent enough to discern the difference between vigorously criticizing a LOBBY, or having to kowtow to it,  and going after a nation state or its people.  Besides, I have written numerous posts warning of the dangers of holocaust denial, as well as the role of the RC Church in protecting escaped Nazis, see e.g.


Brane Space: Of Dangerous Ideas - And 'Dumb And Dangerous Ideas ...

Most relevant here, Professor Nardell adds:

" 'Supporters of Israel' hasn't been a synonym  for the Jews since 1980.  I have to now repeat this: In America today a 'supporter' of Israel is much more likely to be an evangelical Christian Republican than a Jew."

Why is this? Well, because the Jews are configured into the crackpot apocalyptic fantasies and prophesies of the evangelicals and fundamentalists. They  have been (most notably) since Hal Lindsey's book The Late, Great Planet Earth’ – which set the stage long before the “Left Behind” series to reel in already weakened brains.   

Lindsey built his interpretation on the identification of Israel with the “fig tree” and the coming of the Beast  (Antichrist) within one generation of its emergence (birth of a state). Since that birth occurred in 1948, and Lindsey designated one generation = 40 years (biblically) .  From this, he reckoned that the Antichrist would make his first public appearance in 1988(likely after recovering from a massive head wound of the type that killed JFK).  The Tribulation (the horrific 7-year period for his reign) would commence soon after since so many would now "worship the Beast". Everyone in the AC’s dominion would have to be marked with the magic letters ‘666’ which Lindsey surmised would be like an electronic code – similar to the product UPC codes triggered at checkout in a supermarket – to get prices. Without this special numerical code, no one would be able to buy or trade, or work – and hence couldn’t’ survive.

This tableaux also fit in with Lindsey’s other interpretations, including for the “ten heads” in Revelation – since at the time, the European Union featured ten members. Thus, the Antichrist was to arise directly out of what was the original Roman Empire, and also to be in charge of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem (atop one of Islam’s holiest sites). The price for this was for the "Son of Satan" to be worshipped by the Jews.

As any one familiar with this twaddle now knows, that timeline never materialized.  Never mind, though Lindsey's nonsense predictions have long been forgotten,  a good fiction idea (interweaving the Antichrist, Armageddon and Second Coming)  never dies. So no surprise the ensuing generation of bible punchers has run with it,   using similar statements that:

As of 1948, the Jews have a restored national identity helps to fulfill such biblical prophecies as Ezekiel 37 and Matthew 24

Which  totally makes  light of the mass suffering of the Jews, and the ongoing struggles they've endured just to survive day to day. And all this for what? To expeditiously fulfill “prophecies” for modern day Christian fundies - who have even admitted openly (i.e. on assorted 'Donahue' shows in the 90s) that  "The Jews have no chance to be saved unless they convert".   Even then the prophesies disclose only "144,000" will get through those pearly gates. Go figure! 

 The takeaway for me?  Many more Jews  ought to be railing against the Xtian fundie Repukes and Right extremists who back AIPAC,  and praising Ilhan Omar.  This is a time, it seems, when too many citizens have lost track of whom their real enemies are. 

See also:

by Jeffrey C. Isaac | March 11, 2019 - 5:30am |


by William Boardman | March 10, 2019 - 5:52am |


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