Muslim Congressmen Should Be Held Accountable for Their Anti-Semitism

The current House of Representatives includes two female Muslim members—a first, and a cause for much celebration in the press. As of this week, both have made their anti-Semitism public. Ilhan Omar, in 2012, wrote that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” while Rashida Tlaib on Sunday declared that supporters of legislation before the Senate that would curb boycotts of Israel “forgot which country they represent.” Siraj Hashmi comments:

During the 2018 campaign, Omar was not supportive of the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). But as soon as the election ended, she announced her support to the publication MuslimGirl. BDS has long been accused of promoting an anti-Semitic agenda that would bring an end to the Jewish state. . . .

To her credit, Tlaib, [for her part], later clarified her statement by saying she was accusing senators, not Jews, of having dual loyalties. However, Tlaib’s clarification can [nevertheless] be considered anti-Semitic, since it again suggests that the state of Israel—and, by extension, Jews—is conspiring to control the world and, in particular, sitting U.S. senators. . . . .

Omar and Tlaib weren’t the only ones [whose conduct] crossed well into the territory of anti-Semitism. Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim elected to Congress and is now Minnesota’s attorney general, was repeatedly denounced by Jewish groups, particularly in the past year, for his ties to the raging anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

[W]e shouldn’t allow their ideas to give the impression to other Americans that [these individuals represent] monolithic thinking among Muslims both in the United States and around the world. It shouldn’t be difficult to be critical of the policies and actions of a government and not make sweeping generalizations that devolve into hatred for an entire group of people. The biggest challenge will be how long [these congresswomen’s] supporters let this conduct continue before they call them out on it. If the current state of politics has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t hold our breath.

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More about: American Muslims, Anti-Semitism, BDS, Congress, Louis Farrakhan, Politics & Current Affairs, Rashida Tlaib

Yasir Arafat’s Decades-Long Alliance with Iran and Its Consequences for Both Palestinians and Iranians

Jan. 18 2019

In 2002—at the height of the second intifada—the Israeli navy intercepted the Karina A, a Lebanese vessel carrying 50 tons of Iranian arms to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). But Yasir Arafat’s relationship with the Islamic Republic goes much farther back, to before its founding in 1979. The terrorist leader had forged ties with followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that grew especially strong in the years when Lebanon became a base of operations both for Iranian opponents of the shah and for the PLO itself. Tony Badran writes:

The relationship between the Iranian revolutionary factions and the Palestinians began in the late 1960s, in parallel with Arafat’s own rise in preeminence within the PLO. . . . [D]uring the 1970s, Lebanon became the site where the major part of the Iranian revolutionaries’ encounter with the Palestinians played out. . . .

The number of guerrillas that trained in Lebanon with the Palestinians was not particularly large. But the Iranian cadres in Lebanon learned useful skills and procured weapons and equipment, which they smuggled back into Iran. . . . The PLO established close working ties with the Khomeinist faction. . . . [W]orking [especially] closely with the PLO [was] Mohammad Montazeri, son of the senior cleric Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri and a militant who had a leading role in developing the idea of establishing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) once the revolution was won.

The Lebanese terrorist and PLO operative Anis Naccache, who coordinated with [the] Iranian revolutionaries, . . . takes personal credit for the idea. Naccache claims that Jalaleddin Farsi, [a leading Iranian revolutionary], approached him specifically and asked him directly to draft the plan to form the main pillar of the Khomeinist regime. The formation of the IRGC may well be the greatest single contribution that the PLO made to the Iranian revolution. . . .

Arafat’s fantasy of pulling the strings and balancing the Iranians and the Arabs in a grand anti-Israel camp of regional states never stood much of a chance. However, his wish to see Iran back the Palestinian armed struggle is now a fact, as Tehran has effectively become the principal, if not the only, sponsor of the Palestinian military option though its direct sponsorship of Islamic Jihad and its sustaining strategic and organizational ties with Hamas. By forging ties with the Khomeinists, Arafat unwittingly helped to achieve the very opposite of his dream. Iran has turned [two] Palestinian factions into its proxies, and the PLO has been relegated to the regional sidelines.

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More about: Hamas, History & Ideas, Iran, Lebanon, PLO, Yasir Arafat