In a tweet to Forward Opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon, Representative Ilhan Omar expressed that she believes AIPAC paid politicians to be pro-Israel.
The statement, which is false because AIPAC doesn’t make political donations, led several notable figures to join Ungar-Sargon in condemning the Minnesota Democrat for drawing on the anti-Semitic trope of bribery.
The Twitterstorm began on Sunday when Omar responded to California representative Kevin McCarthy’s call to have her punished for previous statements against Israel. “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” she tweeted, referring to the $100 bill.
Ungar-Sargon tweeted to her, asking who the freshman congresswoman thought was paying off politicians.
“AIPAC!” Omar wrote.
AIPAC! https://t.co/UdzaFUEfrh— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 11, 2019
Please learn how to talk about Jews in a non-anti-Semitic way. Sincerely, American Jews. https://t.co/qo3BU2Pqgn— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) February 11, 2019
It caught the attention of figures such as Chelsea Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who spoke out against anti-Semitism.
Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism.— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 11, 2019
In our conversation today, Congresswoman Omar and I agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms. https://t.co/UpZA3DNgQs pic.twitter.com/1Z6rH65e3M— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 11, 2019
The controversy comes less than a month since Omar apologized for a past anti-Semitic tweet, in which she wrote “Israel has hypnotized the world” during the war with Gaza.