March 05, 2019

(WASHINGTON, D.C 03/05/2019)—Once again, pro-Israel forces in Washington are attempting to muzzle Rep. Ilhan Omar and seeking to punish her as a "third strike" Ilhanfor daring to criticize the influence of the Israel lobby. Tomorrow, a proposed resolution condemning anti-Semitism will be voted on in the House. In reality, the resolution, which is shamefully spearheaded by Democratic leadership, will serve to condemn Rep. Omar for her criticism of Israeli policies and its lobby here in the U.S.

Rep. Omar spoke at a town hall meeting last week. While addressing the crowd, Rep. Omar stated, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Her critics twisted her words and presented her comment as though she was saying Jews cannot be loyal citizens to their home countries. AMP’s government relations director who attended the event stated that her remark was completely taken out of context. She was addressing the actions of the pro-Israel lobby in this country, not the position of individual Jewish Americans.

AMP rejects anti-Semitism and bigotry in all its forms. This is a principled position and a moral stance as well, but this resolution has an alternative motive, which is to suppress legitimate criticism of Israel. 

Israel is not above criticism nor any lobby in the U.S., including the Zionist lobby. Conflating the two with anti-Semitism is an infringement on constitutionally-protected free speech and American values. This is the third time Ilhan Omar has come under attack for stating truth to power about Israel and its supporters’ immoral actions. If this resolution is passed without objection the pro-Israel forces will have succeeded in further silencing any critical debate on Israel. Congress, instead, should opt to cement American values and rights, while passing a resolution that condemns all forms of bigotry and hate, including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and discrimination against people of color.

Rather than stand up for Rep. Omar in the face of the most vicious attacks against her—that are both Islamophobic and racist in nature—leaders of her own party have thrown her under the bus to pander to the Israel lobby. 

We ask that you #StandWithIlhanOmar and express your strong opposition to this sham resolution and all attempts to suppress critical debate in Congress. Ask Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer that the resolution addresses not just anti-Semitism, but all forms of bigotry, such as Islamophobia, the racism of people of color and xenophobia. In addition, it should include protection of members of Congress who are physically and verbally threatened, particularly members of color.  

•    Keep up the campaign to support Rep. Ilhan Omar! Let her know that you support her and her efforts in the face of this onslaught. Please call her today and tweet in support of her @Ilhan using the hashtag #StandWithIlhan. Her office number is (202) 225-4755. 

•    Call Nancy Pelosi's office at (202) 225-4965 as well as House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer’s office at (202) 225-4131 and voice your opposition to her shameful capitulation to the Israel Lobby. Tell Speaker Pelosi that criticism of Israeli policies and the pro-Israel Lobby is NOT anti-Semitism and to stop conflating the two!

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