Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 11:21:04 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Ilhan spoke truth about Israeli fund: Not anti-Semitism

By Editorial Desk
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Representative Ilhan Omar, who has been battling charges of anti-Semitism for weeks, apologized on Monday for insinuating that American support for Israel is fuelled by money from a pro-Israel lobbying group - a comment that drew swift and unqualified condemnation from fellow Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as reported in foreign media.
The mea culpa by Ms. Omar, a freshman lawmaker from Minnesota and one of the  first two Muslim women elected to Congress, came after a day of bipartisan outrage over her tweet Sunday night asserting that support for Israel was "all about the Benjamins baby," a reference to hundred-dollar bills. But how offensive is Ms. Omar's Twitter comment linking money from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, to political support in Washington for Israel?
Pro-Israel groups, like AIPAC, have been pouring money into US politics over the past 20 years and their influence in Washington has been scrutinized for nearly as long. However, the amount AIPAC has donated has been dwarfed in recent years by the mega-donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.
The Center for Responsive Politics calls the overall pro-Israel politics lobby one of the most "active and well-financed" groups related to international issues in America: "It's a highly fractious issue with high stakes and it plays a big role in domestic politics." In 2018, these groups (including AIPAC) spent about US$ 5 million on direct lobbying efforts beyond campaign contributions.
Over the past two federal election cycles, pro-Israel groups have given more to Democrats than Republicans. The powerful lobbying group that Omar referenced has been active in the US since the 1960s, foots the bill for dozens of Congress trips to Israel every year, and was a longtime opponent of the Iran nuclear deal the Obama administration crafted. Along with other groups representing Middle Eastern interests, AIPAC has applauded Trump's withdrawal from the deal and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran.
AIPAC's lobbying and campaign contributions have been much less than the huge influx of cash into US politics from mega-donors Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, who was born in Israel to parents who had emigrated to British-controlled Palestine from Poland in 1930s.
They were the largest donors in the 2018 mid-term elections with US$ 123 million, all of that to Republican political action committees that then funneled millions to incumbents in tough races. Adelson-controlled entities gave US$ 55 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund, for example, which spent US$ 126 million running ads against Democrats.
The Adelsons also fund the Israeli American Council (IAC), a group with 20 chapters around the US that Sheldon Adelson described as a hardline alternative to AIPAC in November 2017. IAC will "unequivocally always without question and irreversibly support Israel when it needed it," he said. "There will be no political correctness. There will be no questions about whether we should keep the door to the White House open to us." Miriam, a doctor who runs drug-treatment clinics in Las Vegas and Israel, is believed to be a key influence on Trump's decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
So we can clearly see that Ilhan Omar has a very valid point. However, are we right to pick on Israel? The progressive answer is straightforward: Israel's opponents say Israel and its supporters did this to themselves. More than a half-century of occupation of Palestinian territories is a massive injustice that fair-minded people can no longer ignore, especially given America's financial support for Israel. Continued settlement expansion in the West Bank proves Israel has no interest in making peace on equitable terms. And endless occupation makes Israel's vaunted democracy less about Jewish self-determination than it is about ethnic subjugation.
Not only is Israel flagrantly violating international law by increasing settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, it is forcing Palestinians out of their ancestral homelands and forcing them to live in ever restricted circumstances, resulting in economic and social apartheid. While Israeli teenagers go to disco parties, the Palestinian teenagers are busy throwing rocks or spending time being tortured in jails. All the while the US media has become proportionately less and less critical of any sort of Israeli action against the Palestinians since 1967.
In effect Israel has become an apartheid state catering only to those of Jewish descent--as clearly seen in its promulgation of the 2018 law which promoted the development of Jewish communities, possibly aiding those who would seek to advance discriminatory land-allocation policies.
And it downgraded Arabic from an official language to one with a "special status." The legislation, a "basic law" - giving it the weight of a constitutional amendment - omitted any mention of democracy or the principle of equality, in what critics called a betrayal of Israel's 1948 Declaration of Independence, which ensured "complete equality of social and political rights" for "all its inhabitants" no matter their religion, race or sex. Right now the Palestinians are simply living in a rarefied ghetto--both intellectual and economic, in the sense that Israel is getting even Arab and African countries into its shadow. Tough times lie ahead for the Palestinians.

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

International »

China rejects Turkey criticism on Uighurs

Al Jazeera News :China has hit back at claims by Turkey over its treatment of Uighur people and denied reports a prominent poet and musician from the ethnic Muslim minority was tortured to death in prison.The Chinese embassy in Turkey said in a statement that the poet, 57-year-old Abdurehim Heyit, ...

Cricket »

Guptill set to return for NZ, Bangladesh to miss Shakib

Guptill was ruled out of the ongoing Twenty20 series against India after aggravating a disc in his lower back, but was named for the three-game series against Bangladesh, which starts in Napier on Wednesday."We're delighted to have Martin back on the park for this series. He's a world-class player and ...

Sports »

Ice dance competition winners (from left) silver medalists, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, of Canada, gold medalists, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, of the United States, and bronze medalists, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, of Canada, pose at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships on Sunday.

City »

BNP Vice-Chairman Major (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed, Bir Bikram speaking at a protest rally organised by Nagorik Adhikar Andolon Forum at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday demanding release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia and other leaders of the party.

Editorial »

Catch the godfathers to stop drug business

IT seems drug dealers never run out of options to dodge law enforcers. Previously, they tried to carry Yaba pills inside snake baskets, brinjals, gourds, jackfruits, books, laptops, wall clocks, I-phones and the rectums of human beings, among others. But this time, they have arranged a picnic to transport about ...

Entertainment »

Tanushree Dutta supports Kangana

Actor Tanushree Dutta on Sunday claimed that Kangana Ranaut is a ‘bonafide A++ list actress.’ In a statement, Dutta said, “Kangana Ranaut is a bonafide A++ list actress. Why the extra plus because she is the only one who made it to the top of her game in Bollywood without ...

Cricket »

Colin Munro, butterfingers cost India the series

Dinesh Karthik hit a six off the last ball but New Zealand beat India by four runs in the in the series-deciding third Twenty20 International (T20I) in Hamilton on Sunday. Chasing 213, India took the match down to the wire but ultimately fell short by a whisker.More than 400 runs ...

Cricket »

Mashrafe confident of Bangladesh`s chances despite Shakib`s absence

Shakib Al Hasan's finger injury is a big setback for Bangladesh ahead of their series against New Zealand but ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza is confident of the team's chances despite the absence of the all-rounder, reflecting on his team's performance in the Asia Cup where they had coped without the ...

Entertainment »

Shrenu Parikh to play quintessential bahu

Actress Shrenu Parikh of Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?...Ek Baar Phir fame will play a quintessential daughter-in-law in producer Dipti Kalwani’s yet-to-be titled show. “I’m looking forward to this association with Dipti Kalwani, the maker of Badho Bahu. Just like her previous progressive show, this one is an unusual ...

Editorial »

DITF needs its permanent exhibition centre

THE 24th Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) which ended on Saturday, bagged spot orders worth around Tk 200 crore, with a 25 percent jump, from the previous year. The National Board of Revenue collected Tk 5.3 crore in value-added tax until February 7. The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and the ...

International »

South Korea, US sign cost-sharing deal for American troops

AP, Seoul :South Korea and the United States struck a new deal Sunday that increases Seoul's contribution for the cost of the American military presence on its soil, overcoming previous failed negotiations that caused worries about their decades-long alliance.South Korea last year provided about $830 million, covering roughly 40 percent ...

International »

US Senator Warren formally launches 2020 Presidential campaign

Reuters, Lawrence :US Senator Elizabeth Warren, struggling to move past criticism over her claims of Native American heritage, aimed for a fresh start on Saturday with the formal launch of her 2020 presidential campaign, saying that she is fighting for all Americans.The Massachusetts Democrat, a leader of the party's progressive ...

Cricket »

Shakib ruled out of New Zealand ODIs

Bangladesh stalwart Test captain Shakib Al Hasan has been ruled out of the upcoming New Zealand ODIs due to a finger injury that he sustained during the final of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Friday between Dhaka Dynamites and ComillaVictorians.Shakib led the Dynamites in the final who lost the match ...

Entertainment »

Kareena now brand ambassador of Swasth Immunised India

Kareena Kapoor Khan is currently in the best phase of her life. The actress has some great projects lined up and balances that beautifully with spending time with son Taimur Ali Khan and husband Saif Ali Khan. Kareena has now become the official brand ambassador of Swasth Immunised India. The ...

City »

Former Adviser to the Caretaker Government Sultana Kamal, among others, at a discussion on 'Importance of Variety in the Society: Present and Future' organised by the Institute of Wellbeing at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news