January 28, 2019
News Press Release

ZOA Disagrees With ADL’s Greenblatt’s Praise/Acceptance of Phony Apology of Antisemitic Israel-Hater Rep. Omar (D-MN)

ZOA Respectfully Requests ADL Reconsider and Retract its Praise of Rep. Omar and its Acceptance of Her Limited Phony Apology
Rep Ilhan Omar (credit: Lorie Shaull/Flickr)

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein, ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq., ZOA Director of Mideast Research Dr. Daniel Mandel, PhD and ZOA Director of Special Projects, Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly disagrees with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt’s praise for Israel-hating antisemitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and ADL/Greenblatt’s acceptance of Ilhan Omar’s limited phony “apology.” Rep. Ilhan Omar’s “apology” was a belated, limited “non-apology” for one tiny part of Omar’s numerous vicious, Israel-hating, antisemitic, compassion-for-Israel-hating-ISIS-convicts statements and positions.  And egregiously, Ilhan Omar again falsely attacked Israel in the very same breath along with her phony, non-substantive “non-apology.”  llhan Omar also never apologized for falsely calling Israel “evil” and an “apartheid regime,” and for continuing to promote anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) – and for lying to voters by making them falsely believe that she opposed BDS while she was running for Congress.  Additionally, Rep. Omar has never apologized for seeking reduced sentences for, and expressing “compassion” for anti-American, anti-Israel, murders and rapists ISIS recruits.  Clearly, Rep. Omar lacks credibility and her weak words of “apology” can’t be taken seriously. 

Ilhan Omar never apologized for calling Israel “evil” and an “apartheid regime,” supporting BDS and for seeking reduced sentences for & expressing “compassion” for ISIS recruits. 

ZOA believes that it is a serious mistake for ADL/Greenblatt to accept Rep. Omar’s limited “apology” and for ADL/Greenblatt to actually praise Ilhan Omar – while Omar is continuing to spew antisemitic anti-Israel hatred and promote economic warfare against the Jewish people.  ADL’s praise for Rep. Omar may well embolden Omar to continue her antisemitic anti-Israel vendetta.

Omar’s Hateful Statements and Positions:  On November 16, 2012 – the day after the terrorist group Hamas murdered 3 innocent Israelis, including a pregnant woman, and injured another 13 innocent Israelis, including Jewish babies and children in rocket attacks, and hit Jewish homes and an Israeli school, in the midst of a week during which Hamas shot 1,456 rockets at Israel in an attempt to murder even more innocent Jews – Ilhan Omar despicably tweeted“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.  #Gaza #Palestine #Israel.”

And on May 31, 2018 (around the time Omar filed to run for Congress), when news columnist John Gilmore brought up Omar’s antisemitic statements about Israel “hypnotizing the world” and “the evil doings of Israel,” Omar responded by doubling down, falsely maligning democratic Israel as “an apartheid regime,” and attacking Mr. Gilmore.  Omar also absurdly argued that her outrageous attacks against the Jewish homeland – whose population is 80% Jewish, and where the majority of the world’s Jews live – has nothing to do with Jew-hatred.  Omar tweeted“Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews.  You [Gilmore] are a hateful sad man, I pray to Allah you get the help you need and find happiness.” 

Omar has never apologized for falsely calling Israel an “apartheid” state!  

Yet ADL proclaims Omar gave an “honest apology” and is “committed to a more just world.”

And just last week, on January 17, Rep. Omar defended her previous antisemitic anti-Israel statements, and renewed her attack on Israel for defending innocent Israelis from Hamas rockets.  Omar said on CNN “I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans.  My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza war and I am clearly speaking about the way the Israel regime was conducting itself in that war.”  (See Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Defends 2012 Anti-Israel Tweet Widely Condemned as Antisemitic,” by Benjamin Kerstein, Algemeiner,Jan. 17, 2019.)

Notice also how Omar used the word “regime” when referring to Israel. The term “regime” is generally reserved for fascist dictatorships and totalitarian governments.  Antisemitic Israel haters commonly demean Israel by using terms such as “Zionist regime” and “Israeli regime” when referring to Israel. 

Omar has also never apologized for insultingly calling Israel a “regime”!  

Yet ADL proclaims Omar gave an “honest apology” and is “committed to a more just world.”

Omar also supports BDS – the terrorist-backed campaign designed to economically destroy, delegitimize and demonize Israel and Jewish businesses, workers, cultural activities, students and academics.  (BDS also targets American Jews and American companies.) Omar lied and misled voters into thinking she opposed BDS prior to her election.  (See Muslim Trailblazer Ilhan Omar Admits She Backs BDS — Now That Election Is Over,” by Aiden Pink, The Forward, Nov. 13, 2018.)

Omar also never apologized for lying to her constituents and supporting the antisemitic BDS campaign.  Moreover, if Rep. Omar lied then, why should anyone believe her weak, limited apology now?  

Yet ADL proclaims Omar gave an “honest apology” and is “committed to a more just world.”

Hypocritically, at the same time that Rep. Ilhan Omar supports anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions which harm innocent Jewish families (and which also harms Palestinian families who work for Israeli businesses and American families who work for American companies targeted by the BDS movement), Omar vehemently opposes the narrowly-tailored sanctions on certain officials of the despotic, cruel Venezuelan dictator Maduro’s regime.  (“Rep. Omar Backs Maduro Regime, Shares State-Run Propaganda on Social Media,” by Becket Adams, Washington Examiner, Jan. 26, 2019.)  

Ilhan Omar’s pro-Islamist sympathies are so extreme and radical that in November 2016, while serving as a Minnesota State Representative, Omar wrote a letter asking a senior federal judge in Minnesota for lighter sentences for nine Somali-American immigrants who were convicted for plotting to join ISIS in Syria.  ISIS is one of the most vicious Islamist terrorist groups in the world, beheading hundreds of innocents and committing widespread raping of women.  And one of the Somali convicts stated that he joined ISIS to kill people – not to hand out medicine and food!  (See Omar’s letter at “Rep. Ilhan Omar Asks Judge for Compassion in ISIS Recruit Sentencing,” KMSP-Fox 9, Nov 10, 2016.)

Rep. Ilhan Omar also displayed her extraordinary lack of credibility by recklessly, without a shred of evidence, publicly accusing Senator Lindsey Graham of being “compromised,” and ludicrously claimed this explains Graham’s support of Pres. Trump.  Omar tweeted: “They got to him. He is compromised!” while retweeting Qasim Rashid @MuslimIQ’s tweet: “I can’t even imagine what they have on Graham.”  After CNN’s hosts repeatedly pressed Omar that this was not evidence, Omar finally admitted that her accusations were her “opinion.”  

Omar’s Limited Phony Apology Was Accompanied By Further Anti-Israel Statements:  Finally last week, when Omar was again challenged that her statement, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” amounted to a conspiracy theory accusing the Jews of vast, manipulative powers, Rep. Omar finally  tweeted her limited phony apology: Omar stated that she had “unknowingly used” the word “hypnotize” which she only now understood was an “unfortunate” and “offensive antisemitic trope.”  

At the same time, however, Ilhan Omar demonstrated her lack of sincerity, and continuing hatred of the Jewish nation by quickly adding: “I will not shy away of criticism of any government when I see injustice,” and, “It is important that when you see oppression taking place-when you see our values attacked as humans-you’ll stand up.”

ADL’s mystifying praise for Rep. Omar whitewashes her antisemitic Israel-hating record and may embolden her to continue her ugly vendetta. 

So Rep. Omar, as part of her phony alleged apology, falsely condemned the Jewish State for committing “injustice” and “oppression” and “attacking our values as humans” – and insisted that we must “stand up” to Israel! Some apology!

In accompanying tweets, Rep. Omar also attempted to justify accusing Israel of “evil doings” by absurdly saying: “the acts of war justified or not will always be acts of evil to me.”  Ilhan Omar thus also revealed her immoral inability to distinguish Hamas’ terrorist onslaughts from Israel’s efforts to stop Hamas from deliberately murdering innocent Jewish civilians.  And she absurdly actually says that “justified acts of war” are “evil!” Does Ilhan Omar also believe that World War II fighting to stop the Nazi horrors was evil? Moreover, if Omar really believes all acts of war are evil, why has she hypocritically never condemned Hamas’ and Fatah’s evil acts of war against innocent Israelis or Iran’s threats of war against Israel and the USA?

Furthur, on CNN’s Amanpour, Omar attempted to justify her remarks by pathetically stating that “those unfortunate words were the only words I could think about expressing at that point” to criticize a military action by a government that has “exercised really oppressive policies.”

Omar never apologized for calling Israel’s defensive actions against Hamas as “evil”!  Or for falsely accusing Israel’s moral, necessary defensive actions against the US designated terrorist group Hamas as engaging in “oppression.” 

Yet ADL proclaims Omar gave an “honest apology” and is “committed to a more just world.”

Omar also claimed that she was being “smeared” – when people are only repeating her own words.

ADL CEO Greenblatt’s Inappropriate Praise for Ilhan Omar:  Despite the absence of any substantive serious apology by Rep. Omar for viciously attacking Israel for legitimately defending her citizens from rocket assaults, and despite the fact that Omar never withdrew or apologized for any of her hateful previous positions defaming the Jewish State of Israel as an “apartheid state” and “evil,” and despite Omar’s support for BDS’ economic warfare against the Jewish state and Jewish businesses and workers—

ADL CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt profusely praised Rep. Omar, tweeting: “Hats off to Rep Omar for her honest apology & commitment to a more just world. Open and respectful conversation will help us achieve this goal.”

The ZOA strongly disagrees with Mr. Greenblatt’s unwarranted effusive praise for Rep. Omar’s limited phony apology for just one part of her many hateful statements attacking the Jewish State.  The ADL/Greenblatt response gives Ilhan Omar the appearance of a clean slate, and risks whitewashing her numerous, never-apologized-for Israel-hating statements and positions.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein stated: “ZOA strongly disagrees with the ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt accepting Rep. Omar’s phony apology for one part of a statement she made, while ignoring all the other Israel-hating statements.  ZOA moreover strongly disagrees with ADL/Greenblatt’s unwarranted praise to Rep. Ilhan Omar.  

“We at ZOA want to clearly state that ZOA does not accept Ilan Omar’s so-called ‘apology’.

Rep. Omar’s didn’t retract anything substantive in her vicious anti-Israel positions.  She continues to attack Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense.  Nor did Omar apologize for calling Israel an apartheid state – which implies she may well be against Israel’s very existence.  Nor did Omar retract her support of the antisemitic BDS campaigns.  Omar only weakly apologized for one phrase she had used, which she attempts to claim was unintentional, even though her record reveals her longstanding anti-Israel hostility. Furthermore, in her ‘apology,’ Omar never actually used the word ‘apologize’.”

The ZOA believes that when people accuse the Jewish collective of indulging in evil and hypnotizing the world, they do so knowingly and intentionally. Such people know perfectly well what they are saying.  Someone making such statements reveals an extraordinary, powerfully-ingrained hatred for the Jewish State of Israel and Jews.

In light of all this, we are mystified as to why ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt gave aid and comfort to Rep. Omar’s hateful antisemitism by accepting her limited non-apology as “honest”, “respectful” and “open” and praiseworthy.  Do ADL and Greenblatt really believe Omar now clearly has, as Greenblatt wrote, “a commitment to a more just world,” when Omar continues to promote anti-Israel BDS and hatred towards Israel and supports compassion for and reduced prison sentences  for the Jew-hating, America-hating demonic killers and rapists of ISIS?!

Given that the ADL accepted Omar’s questionable limited apology, and inappropriately bestowed unmerited praise upon Rep. Omar, it is timely to note that the ADL does not necessarily represent American Jewry; nor for that matter does the ZOA or any other single Jewish organization.  The ADL can only speak for itself and its Board and its supporters.  ADL’s words must not be misconstrued by Rep. Omar, Congress, the media or others as constituting the position of American Jewry.” 

ZOA respectfully requests that ADL reconsider and retract its praise of antisemitic Israel-hating, BDS promoting, compassionate-to-ISIS-recruits Rep. Ilhan Omar.  ZOA likewise requests that ADL and Jonathan Greenblatt retract their mistaken acceptance of Omar’s “apology.”