Last year, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar visited Qatar, a major sponsor of Hamas and other Islamist groups, to attend the soccer World Cup. According to her recent financial disclosures, the emirate’s government paid for the trip. Zach Kessel comments:
Omar was not the only lawmaker on the trip, but her inclusion is ironic given her past statements about Israel. In a February 2019 tweet . . . Omar intimated that U.S. support for the lone democracy in the Middle East is predicated solely on money from Jewish donors. Soon after, speaking at a Washington, D.C. bookstore, Omar decried “the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Of course, the “Israel lobby” is not the reason why the United States supports its closest ally in the region—public opinion is—and such arguments stink of Protocols of the Elders of Zion-adjacent conspiracy theories alleging that a Jewish cabal controls world politics. It’s also worth asking why Israel seems to catch all the flak whenever any progressive talks about supposed foreign influence on American politics.
If we turn our attention to foreign countries and their attempts to curry favor with U.S. lawmakers, Israel is . . . low on the list. In reality, nations such as Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and, yes, Qatar spend more money on American politics than Israel does.
Back to Omar’s World Cup trip. The congresswoman, who so often rails against Israel’s supposed human-rights violations, accepted gifts from a regime that sponsors terrorism and exports anti-American propaganda.
And that’s not to mention the country’s abysmal human-rights record, or its de-facto enslavement of thousands of foreign workers.