Ilhan Omar Should Be Expelled. Why Won’t Republicans Loudly Say So?

No Democrat should be able to speak to a tv camera or into a microphone without being asked their stance on Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar. Citizens and media should be putting elected officials on the record: Do you really stand silent for such bigotry? Are you really looking the other way on such hate? Will you really continue to pretend that she isn’t inviting and inciting attacks on Israel and Jews in the US? 

No member of Congress should go a day without being reminded that Ilhan Omar is actively courting for genocide in Israel, and then be asked, “Do you agree with her? Should Israel cease to exist?”

This isn’t hyperbole. The facts have been laid out and the reality is undeniable:

 – Rep. Omar and the “Squad” at-large have condemned Israel, condoned bigotry and cozied up to anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan and Jeremy Cornyn. Add to it members like Rep. Andre Carson (D, IN-07,) who proclaimed at a ‘Free Palestine’ rally in front of the US State Dept. that he and others, “love their sister,” Rashida Tlaib. Carson is also famous for refusing to condemn known bigot Louis Farrakhan, and maintaining that he would work with Farrakhan in the future.
 – Omar’s hatred for Israel and Jews is not a passing fad, nor a misinterpretation of her comments. It’s who she is.
 – Omar should be a great story of America’s triumph. Instead of having a life of hardship in Somalia unfathomable to Americans, she was welcomed into the US. Educated in the US. Had access to the greatest doctors and healthcare in the world. Free to worship as she chose. Was able to speak her mind without fear of violent abduction by any government.

And instead of loving the nation that welcomed her – clearly, not a racist nation – she hates it, decries it and compares it to the terrorist organization, Hamas.

What does the Democratic Party do? It continues to lift her up. Perhaps, for Democrats, she didn’t speak out of turn. Perhaps, for more of the Democratic Party than even Democrats realize, she spoke the truth: The Democratic Party hates America, and thinks we’re the terrorists.

And when some Democrats in DC rebuke Omar for her radical, violent, hateful and outrageously false comments, Speaker Pelosi rushes in to proclaim, “No! We did not rebuke Ilhan!”

We…acknowledged that she made a clarification.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi to CNN

Pelosi continued, saying that Rep. Omar is “valued” by the party.

In my beloved Indiana, Democrats say nothing. The Indiana Democratic Party pushes the Biden agenda without even a question of whether it connects with Hoosiers (it doesn’t.) The party is quick to condemn Republicans for not passing their budget or for questioning Indiana’s version of the Bridge to Nowhere, a series of nonsense “rapid” bus routes in Indianapolis that no one wants and destroys businesses.

But on the bigotry of Omar? On the supportive anti-Israel comments of Indy Congressman Carson? Nothing.

The rabbis of Central Indiana have been silent on the anti-Semitism of the political Left and the constant attacks on Israel, with the notable exception of Rabbi Ben Sendrow (full disclosure, Ben Sendrow is my rabbi.)

When the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was enacted in Indiana (which I opposed,) rabbis were quick to write op-eds to decry the move (and the local newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, was quick to publish them.) The rabbis were quick to condemn then- Gov Mike Pence for signing it into law. But when a member of the Democratic Party calls for genocide in Israel, they are silent. When their own congressman, Andre Carson, supports Rep. Tlaib calling Israel an “apartheid state” and claiming Israeli laws are like “Jim Crow,” they say nothing publicly.

Often, on radio, I explain that too many Jews have replaced Judaism with Liberalism; replaced their humanity with their ideology. How much more right could I be?

But not all blame should be on Democrats. Former Republican Rep. Steve King lost his committee assignments because of very questionable comments on race. GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene lost her committee assignments because of her comments on Jewish space lasers (yes, they were ridiculous comments on Facebook. Don’t defend her on that.) But Ilhan Omar is protected for saying far, far worse than both of them?

Republicans need to get their act together, and demand that Congress be a body where this radical bigotry is not tolerated. When a member spews anti-Semitism and compares the United States to Hamas, Republicans need to march into Speaker Pelosi’s office and demand a vote to strip that member of their committees. (No, calling for censure is not enough.)

When they get called racist by Tlaib or Rep. Ayanna Presley or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (see: The Squad,) they need to tell those members – loudly! – to sit down. Bigotry will not be tolerated! Stop defending it!

When the press calls Republicans racists, Republicans must respond by telling Jim Acosta and Don Lemon, Joy Reid and Chris Hayes, the Times and the Post and PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor that bigotry will not be tolerated, followed by the factual observation that all of those mentioned (and so many more not listed) are the reason America sees so much of the press as the Enemy of the People. When you think MTG should be gone, but won’t report on Omar, you’re telling America what you value. 

And what you value is an elected official pushing anti-Semitism, calling the US “terrorists” and partnering with those who scream, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Which is, of course, a call to genocide.

Democrats won’t condemn a bigot, and Republicans won’t loudly and raucously demand that Omar be stripped of her committees and expelled. Ok, then. The Midterm elections are 18 months away.