Ilhan Omar and Her Willing Dupes

April 17 2019

The Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has received much criticism for her comment—in a speech last month at a Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet—that on, September 11, 2001, “some people did something.” But Abe Greenwald notes a revealing pattern in these remarks that has received less attention:

Omar issues calls for compassion out of one side of her mouth and appeals for contempt out of the other. She is, among other things, a run-of-the-mill flimflam artist. . . . If you set aside the canned baby talk of her speeches and articles, her actions don’t reveal much in the way of understanding and compassion. Or was she “showing up with love,” [to use one of her platitudes], when she claimed that Americans who support Israel are guilty of “allegiance to a foreign country” and that pro-Israel American leaders are somehow being paid off to support the Jewish state, and that—lest we forget—“Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel”? Are all these examples of what she sees as a “mission as humans to love one another”?

Whenever Omar gets called out for her anti-Semitism or anti-Americanism, she makes a steady retreat back to her faux compassion and understanding, simultaneously vowing to “learn” from her actions and claiming innocent victimhood. It’s then that her liberal supporters seize on her sunny rhetoric and denounce all the criticism that’s come her way. That’s precisely what’s been happening since she was caught describing 9/11 as a null event.

The con artist will thrive as long her marks are willing to be conned.

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More about: anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism, CAIR, Ilhan Omar, U.S. Politics

 

At the UN, Nikki Haley Told the Truth about Israel—and the World Didn’t Burn Down

April 22 2019

Although Nikki Haley had never been to Israel when she took the position of American ambassador to the UN, and had no prior foreign-policy experience, she distinguished herself as one of the most capable and vigorous defenders of the Jewish state ever to hold the position. Jon Lerner, who served as Haley’s deputy during her ambassadorship, sees the key to her success—regarding both Israel and many other matters—in her refusal to abide by the polite fictions that the institution holds sacred:

Myths are sometimes assets in international relations. The fiction that Taiwan is not an independent country, for example, allows [the U.S.] to sustain [its] relationship with China. In other cases, however, myths can create serious problems. On Israel–Palestinian issues, the Trump administration was determined to test some mythical propositions that many had come to take for granted, and, in some cases, to refute them. Haley’s prominence at the UN arose in large part from a conscious choice to reject myths that had pervaded diplomacy on Israel–Palestinian issues for decades. . . .

[For instance], U.S. presidents were intimidated by the argument that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would trigger violent explosions throughout the Muslim world. President Trump and key colleagues doubted this, and they turned out to be right. Violent reaction in the Palestinian territories was limited, and there was virtually none elsewhere in Arab and Islamic countries. . . .

It turns out that the United States can support Israel strongly and still work closely with Arab states to promote common interests like opposing Iranian threats. The Arab street is not narrowly Israel-minded and is not as volatile as long believed. The sky won’t fall if the U.S. stops funding UN sacred cows like the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA). Even if future U.S. administrations revert to the policies of the past, these old assumptions will remain disproved. That is a valuable accomplishment that will last long after Nikki Haley’s UN tenure.

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More about: Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, United Nations, US-Israel relations