Congress Is Loyal to Israel. Why Does Only Ilhan Omar Say So?

'Dual loyalty' is a misnomer. It suggests that politicians care about America.

The Solons on Capitol Hill are terrified of the expression “dual loyalty.” They are afraid because dual loyalty means that one is not completely a loyal citizen of the country where one was born, raised and, presumably, prospered.

It also suggests something more perverse, and that is dual citizenship, which in its present historic and social context particularly refers to the Jewish congressmen and women who just might be citizens of both the United States and Israel. There is particular concern over the issue at the moment because a freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar has let the proverbial cat out of the bag by alluding to American-Jewish money buying uncritical support for a foreign country which is Israel without any regard to broader U.S. interests, something that everyone in Washington knows is true and has been the case for decades but is afraid to discuss due to inevitable punishment by the Israel Lobby.

Certainly, the voting record in Congress would suggest that there are a lot of congress critters who embrace dual loyalty, with evidence that the loyalty is not so much dual as skewed in favor of Israel. Any bill relating to Israel or to Jewish collective interests, like the currently fashionable topic of anti-Semitism, is guaranteed a 90% plus approval rating no matter what it says or how much it damages actual U.S. interests. Thursday’s 407 to 23 vote in the House of Representatives on a meaningless and almost unreadable “anti-hate” resolution was primarily intended to punish Ilhan Omar and to demonstrate that the Democratic Party is indeed fully committed to sustaining the exclusive prerogatives of the domestic Jewish community and the Jewish state.

The voting on the resolution was far from unusual and would have been unanimous but for the fact that twenty-three Republicans voted “no” because they wanted a document that was only focused on anti-Semitism, without any references to Muslims or other groups that might be encountering hatred in America. That the congress should be wasting its time with such nonsense is little more than a manifestation of Jewish power in the United States, part of a long-sought goal of making any criticism of Israel a “hate” crime punishable by fining and imprisonment. And congress is always willing to play its part. Famously, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) official Steven Rosen once boasted that he could take a napkin and within 24 hours have the signatures of 70 Senators on it, reflective of the ability of the leading pro-Israel organization to impel the U.S. legislature to respond uncritically to its concerns.

Ilhan Omar has certainly been forced to apologize and explain her position as she is under sustained attack from the left, right and center as well as from the White House. One congressman told her that “Questioning support for the US-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” Another said “there are many reasons to support Israel, but there is no reason to oppose Israel” while yet another one declared that all in Congress are committed to insuring that the “United States and Israel stand as one.”

But Omar has defended herself without abandoning her core arguments and she has further established her bona fides as a credible critic of what passes for U.S. foreign policy by virtue of an astonishing attack on former President Barack Obama, whom she criticized obliquely in an interview Friday, saying “We can’t be only upset with Trump. His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was. That’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.” Presumably Omar was referring to Obama’s death by drone program and his destruction of Libya, among his other crimes. Everything she said about the smooth talking but feckless Obama is true and could be cast in even worse terms, but to hear the truth from out of the mouth of a liberal Democrat is something like a revelation that all progressives are not ideologically fossilized and fundamentally brain dead. One wonders what she thinks of the Clintons?

The Democrats are in a tricky situation that will only wind up hurting relationships with some of their core constituencies. If they come down too hard on Omar – a Muslim woman of color who wears a head covering – it will not look good to some key minority voters they have long courted. If they do not, the considerable Jewish political donations to the Democratic Party will certainly be diminished if not slowed to a trickle and much of the media will turn hostile. So they are trying to bluff their way through by uttering the usual bromides. Senator Kristin Gillibrand of New York characteristically tried to cover both ends by saying “Those with critical views of Israel, such as Congresswoman Omar, should be able to express their views without employing anti-Semitic tropes about money or influence.” Well, of course, it is all about Jews, money buying access and obtaining political power, with the additional element of supporting a foreign government that has few actual interests in common with the United States, isn’t it?

As Omar put it, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country…” She also tweeted to a congressional critic that “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.” Gilad Atzmon, a well known Jewish critic of Israel, observed drily that “How reassuring is it that the only American who upholds the core values of liberty, patriotism and freedom is a black Muslim and an immigrant…”

But such explicatory language about the values that Americans used to embrace before Israel-worship rendered irrelevant the Constitution clearly made some lightweights from the GOP side nervous. Megan McCain, daughter of thankfully deceased “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” Senator John McCain appears on a mind numbing talk-television program called The View where she cried as she described her great love for fellow Israel-firster warmonger former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman as “like family,” before launching into her own “informed” analysis: “I take the hate crimes rising in this country incredibly seriously and I think what’s happening in Europe is really scary. On both sides it should be called out. And just because I don’t technically have Jewish family that are blood-related to me doesn’t mean that I don’t take this seriously and it is very dangerous, very dangerous… what Ilhan Omar is saying is very scary to me.”

The New York Times also had a lot to say, covering the story on both its news and op-eds pages daily. Columnist Michelle Goldberg, who is usually sensible, criticizes Omar because of her “minimizing the legacy of the holocaust” and blames her because “she’s committed what might be called, in another context, a series of microaggressions — inadvertent slights that are painful because they echo whole histories of trauma.” In other words, if some Jews are indeed deliberately corrupting American politics on behalf of Israel and against actual U.S. interests using money to do so it is not a good idea to say anything about it because it might revive bad historical – or not so historical – memories. It is perpetual victimhood employed as an excuse for malfeasance on the part of Jewish groups and the Jewish state.

Another Times columnist Bret Stephens also takes up the task of defenestrating Omar with some relish, denying that “claims that Israel…uses money to bend others to its will, or that its American supporters ‘push for allegiance to a foreign country’” are nothing more than the “repackage[ing] falsehoods commonly used against Jews for centuries.” He attributes to her “insidious cunning” and “anti-Jewish bigotry” observing how “she wraps herself in the flag, sounding almost like Pat Buchanan when he called Congress “Israeli-occupied” territory.” And it’s all “…how anti-Zionism has abruptly become an acceptable point of view in reputable circles. It’s why anti-Semitism is just outside the frame, bidding to get in.” He concludes by asking why the Democratic Party “has so much trouble calling out a naked anti-Semite in its own ranks.”

Stephens clearly does not accept that what Omar claims just might actually be true. Perhaps he is so irritated by her because he himself is a perfect example of someone who suffers from dual loyalty syndrome, or perhaps it would be better described as single loyalty to his tribe and to Israel. Review some of his recent columns in The Times if you do not believe that to be true. He has an obsession with rooting out people that he believes to be anti-Semites and believes all the nonsense about Israel as the “only democracy in the Middle East.” In his op-ed he claims that “Israel is the only country in its region that embraces the sorts of values the Democratic Party claims to champion.” Yes, a theocratic state’s summary execution of unarmed protesters and starving civilians while simultaneously carrying out ethnic cleansing are traditional Democratic Party programs, at least as Bret sees it.

People like Stephens are unfortunately possessors of a bully pulpit and are influential. As they are public figures, they should be called out regarding where their actual loyalties lie, but no one in power is prepared to do that. Stephens wears his Jewishness on his sleeve and is pro-Israel far beyond anyone else writing at The Times. He and other dual loyalists, to be generous in describing them, should be exposed for what they are, which is the epitome of the promoters of the too “passionate attachment” with a foreign state that President George Washington once warned against. If the United States of America is not their homeland by every measure, they should perhaps consider doing Aliyah and moving to Israel. We genuine Americans would be well rid of them.


Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is [email protected].

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