Dem Rep. Ilhan Omar ‘apologizes’ for anti-Semitic tropes, continues attack on AIPAC

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Well, Rep. Omar finally apologized–sort of –she says she is sorry for the anti-Semitic tropes, then adds a BUT statement.

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar said. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

Omar added a BUT Statement  “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”

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Anti-Semites complain about AIPAC being this huge monstrous lobby–but it’s not true. They don’t donate money directly to candidates and when it comes to lobbying they are relatively tiny.  Based on the 2017 Open Secrets data, AIPAC lobbying spending is tiny, doesn’t even make the top 100 lobbying organizations in America. In 2017 AIPAC spent only $3,402,651 in lobbying. Putting that in perspective take a look at the chart below. the 100th biggest lobbyist, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers spent $8,100,000 almost two and a half times that of AIPAC.

And by the way, the NRA doesn’t make the top 100 either their 2017 lobbying budget was $5,122,000 much more than AIPAC but still not in the top 100.

While I am happy that some of Rep. Omar’s colleagues are teaching her about anti-Semitic tropes, she needs a bit more work, especially in the lobbying category.

Time will tell if Democratic Party leadership will continue to point out the Antisemitism in their ranks, I am not optimistic.

As for Rep. Omar’s half-apology.  Based on the fact that she used her apology to demonize AIPAC, it is doubtful she is really chastened.

And by the way, the NRA doesn’t make the top 100 either. Their 2017 lobbying budget was $5,122,000 much more than AIPAC but still not in the top 100.

While I am happy that some of Rep. Omar’s colleagues are teaching her about anti-Semitic tropes, she needs a bit more work, especially in the lobbying category.

Cross-posted with The Lid

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