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Congresswoman Omar’s Mistake: The Damage is Done

Ilhan Omar /Wikimedia Commons photo credit Lorie Shaull

Even though Ilhan Omar fights for her people, she, like Donald Trump, has made a significant mistake, but of course, Trump is full of mistakes.  Her mistake is that she has stirred the pot of anti-Semitism which has made her toxic.  She made the mistake and she is seen here talking to her constituents to demonstrate to them that she is fighting for them (as Trump has done on his key issues of the last two years) and she does have the admiration of her constituents for fighting, but she and Trump have made the same mistake.

Congresswoman Omar cited AIPAC for paying off members of Congress.  And here is an article about even Homeland Security agents giving out false information about Omar.  Giving false information is the wrong thing to do.

It is my own view that people who are toxic should consider either improving or moving on (if a person cannot be retrained, he or she should be let go).  It is not about Omar resigning or being removed from the Foreign Policy Committee.  It’s about her self-made divisiveness.  And this is something that her constituents may choose not to see, which has happened in politics since the beginning of time.  Her comments send the wrong signal to the right-wing elements in her own community and across the country.

See how Jennifer Teege is a face of truth, the truth about her family.  She had knowledge of the Holocaust and she speaks about her expectations about Israel, knowing about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.  She was scared, too, about what would happen to her as people learned about her family’s past. Even today a large segment of Israeli Jews wish for peace with Palestinians.  Of course, the Palestinians should be greatly uplifted as part of any peace process. Remember the Marshall Plan and how well that worked?  And General Mac Arthur did a very good job in Japan. There have been about seventy years of peace because of those efforts.

I called the office of Congresswoman Omar and her staff searched for my article on the Holocaust Chronicles and found it to show to her.  That article details that people of color, but particularly African-Americans and other Black people probably would have been next in line to be exterminated.  Even one of my readers was quick to point that out to me.  Black History Month just ended and Jews share too much in common for people to divide the importance of the commonality of our history.  This should be shared of course with Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and with students on campus across America.

It would take great courage on the part of Omar to make this well-known in her district and to her supporters around our nation.  By not doing that it portrays a politician who is less courageous for now and more partisan.  As you can probably tell, this is a second attempt to reach out to Congresswoman Omar to Do the Right Thing (is Spike Lee watching?).

You can see the great support and applause from her constituents, but were Jews present and how many?  There are lots of Jews, Omar has reported, in her district.  Is it possible that they would be applauding her comments as well?  After all, she does represent everyone in her district.  And she did single Jews out for not bringing up helping Palestinians.  Are there no Jewish progressives who want to help Palestinians in her district?

Ever since I watched the movie Exodus, I knew that Palestinians were divided during the war and I later learned about the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who wanted to destroy all Jews.  I also noticed severe prejudice against the Palestinian people long before most Jews had a clue about what was going on.  From my own viewpoint, nobody should talk about the Nakba and the attack on Deir Yassin without mentioning the massacre of Hebron in 1929.  Nobody!  Events need equal time. And then there is this.

Uniting Jews to Fight Anti-Semitism

I have read about Zionists who reacted to the Oslo Accords and who felt that it was “treason.” This led to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and to the current power of Benjamin Netanyahu.  I knew that there would be no peace because of revenge, but I did not know about much of Israel’s history, which I now know.  It’s largely tragedy from my world view, but I support the Jewish people.  How many Jews happen to know that Yasser Arafat was secretly brought into Israel and went to the home of Rabin to pay shiva or condolences to Rabin’s wife.

Trump and his people would rather fight back when he is accused of being a racist (Omar is accused of being anti-Semitic) and it’s largely a waste of time since she spoke out improperly about Jewish money, Jewish allegiance, and more.  The critical thing is stirring that pot.

Bernie Sanders has been fighting for a two-state solution and he is a progressive who has spoken about Palestine and the right-wing government of Netanyahu.  Ilhan Omar on Now This has gone off track in talking about her plight.  She made a mistake and refused to admit that it was a mistake.

Here is a New York Times article that I just found after writing all these comments.  There were Jews who helped the Omar campaign and others who feel that she has said nothing that bad. There are people who only look at the surface issues and fail to see the entire situation.  There is anti-Semitism all over the United States and it has gotten worse in the last two or three years (in Europe too).

Hugh Baver, the executive director and founder of Sosúa 75 has written to me from the Dominican Republic where he is concerned about this situation, but he is also recalling a past that took place in Michigan decades ago. “It was back at Southfield-Lathrup SHS in Lathrup Village MI (a Detroit suburb where the population there at the time was roughly 1/2 Jewish, 1/4th Christian & 1/4 Arab/Chaldean/Muslim (not Palestinian however I must clarify).

That high school, my former high school, has now since closed as the neighborhood over the years (Southfield, MI area) transitioned to all Black (close to 8Mile Road of “8 Mile” Eminem Fame).

It usually was the same two or three characters, but nevertheless we learned in high school back in the 70s what it felt like to be “terrorized” and to be immediately evacuated from the school premises with bomb threats as makeshift “bombs” were placed in the toilets in the high school bathrooms.

The deep-seated anger and hostility of these perpetrators was widely known and feared as many high school students would step very lightly around them.

The main flashpoint problems in the region all stemmed from Dearborn where the largest Muslim population outside of the Middle East is situated, hence the election of this woman.”

Thank goodness that it was only two or three youth who caused the problem (s) in Hugh’s youth. In New York, we didn’t hear about those things, but nowadays things can go viral and become a significant terrorist threat.  Nobody should fan those flames.

Let’s briefly go back to Hebron in 1929.  The Orthodox community had sixty-four dead, including women and children.  Overall 133 Jews and 116 Arabs were killed (the latter mostly by British police).  Jews went from the Russian Pogrom to a slaughter that was not organized by the authorities.  Hundreds of Jews were given shelter by Arabs and survived because of their compassion.  That is the best part of the lesson of this history.

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Finally we can give some thought here to the community that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar serves in Minnesota.  No she doesn’t have to go to Israel (yet) and visit the Holocaust Museum.  She can read the Holocaust Chronicles at home and not use her trip as a photo opportunity to prove a point.  She has work to do in her district.

Minnesota is often above average as a G.E.D. state, but not exceptional at all.  The big difference in success between African-Americans and White is about 23 percent and that impacts on communities.  I was researching gangs, but I chose not to present the information without my knowing if the sources were reputable or hateful, particularly to the Somali community at this time. But what is going on, particularly in the less educated immigrant communities?

Michelle Obama was a keynote speaker at the City College of New York years ago where the valedictorian, a young woman from Bangladesh later spoke hopefully of helping her 9 cousins who had never completed high school.  I helped two students whose family was Muslim from Bangladesh around 1998.  And they got their diplomas quickly.

You can hear these adults, both young and older state their countries of origin, including Somalia and Yemen.  A big question is what has Ilhan Omar done to help the immigrants become G.E.D. graduates and does she even know about the problem.  Minnesota in 2009 delivered 1.4 percent to its people or slightly more than 1 person in every 100 earning a diploma.  Will her office to take appropriate action now?

My major point is that as a progressive, she has bought into things that people really do need. She has to battle the forces that would prevent that.  But there is no excuse for neglecting men and women in her community that would be qualified for better jobs if they had a diploma.  Gang members and good people fall through the cracks, even as progressives represent them.  I could easily complain about Bernie Sanders as well.

And if you want other solutions for the family, please read this article in Jewish Business News. Of course there is more.  Share it with communities in Minnesota.

It is abominable that Congresswoman Omar is being threatened, but that could be true today of this congresswoman who went to the border for 16 hours to produce this very important report for the world to see.  This work is undeniably great and we look forward to seeing great things from Ilhan Omar.  Don’t you think that anti-immigrants across our nation are threatening Congresswoman Barragán right now?  It seems to go with the territory!  And Donald Trump will keep calling the Democrats anti-Semites for not crushing Congresswoman Omar.

Breaking news.  Job growth was only 20,000 in February as 180,000 jobs were expected to be added.  Trump is the man who said that he would create 25 million jobs and the slowdown that I expected months ago is now happening.  Even if he created 200,000 jobs last month, they surely are not the jobs that college graduates and others had been expecting.  I am not sure if they are the chicken plucking jobs that Ross Perot accused Bill Clinton of creating in Arkansas, but the overall picture does not look good at all.  Americans fell for the bull and now it is time to take the bull by the horns.

Martin Danenberg has been the teacher of the Consulate of El Salvador where word of his work reached the cabinet level in El Salvador. He has actively promoted education among the people of Guatemala and Honduras, two nations that support the idea of the United States embassy in Jerusalem. 



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