Baptism by Fire: Ilhan Omar and the American Zionist Juggernaut

By Michael Howard

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A few months ago I wrote an essay explaining why we shouldn’t expect the new crop of progressive lawmakers to stand up to Israel and its spear carriers on Capitol Hill and in the US media. The American people have had Zionist propaganda rammed down their throats for fifty years, ever since Israel embarked on its quest to rob what remains of the Palestinian peoples’ homeland. Since this end can only be achieved through terrorism (see every Israeli military campaign in history), the Zionists within and without Israel have done their level best to manipulate people into believing that their terrorism is in fact anti-terrorism: the Muslims are the terrorists, and we’re simply defending ourselves.

Depicting Palestinians, and Muslims in general, as homicidal maniacs is essential to maintaining the illusory image of Israel as a vulnerable democratic state encircled by inherently violent actors seeking its destruction—and thus one in need of ideological, diplomatic and military assistance. Hence the modest $4 billion checks Washington cuts to Israel every year. The Muslims-are-terrorists line is also useful when the US decides to spend trillions of dollars it doesn’t have invading and occupying Muslim-majority countries. “Our strategy is this,” George II said in 2007: “We will fight them over there so we do not have to face them in the United States of America.”

“Them” meaning terrorists, meaning Muslims, who hate our freedom and want to kill us all.

Don’t you see that Israel is up against a global death cult bent on tearing down Western Civilization? Pay no mind to the fact that militant Zionists—the Irgun—coined the tactic of bombing buses and large crowds in the 1930s. That was before the Zionists had Apache helicopters and nuclear bombs. Again, never mind. History is unimportant. Just listen to George II: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Here he is again: “Either you’re with us, either you love freedom, and with nations which embrace freedom, or you’re with the enemy.” Israel loves freedom. Do you?

Until recently, Ilhan Omar, freshman legislator from Minnesota, was unaware of these manufactured truths. So ignorant was she that she actually hinted that the array of pro-Israel lobby groups in Washington, led by AIPAC, give out large sums of money to political campaigns in order to influence US policy in a way that is favorable to … Israel. Obviously that’s code for, “I hate the Jews,” and Omar was duly raked over the coals for her anti-Semitism. The dressing-down was bipartisan: along with American imperialism and corporate supremacy, Israel is one topic on which the Democrats and Republicans always see eye to eye. I wonder why that is?

Omar folded like a lawn chair. No surprise there. In her weak-kneed apology she wrote: “I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.” Excuse me while I go and vomit. Omar’s accompanying tweet reads: “Listening and learning, but standing strong.” Learning what? How to stop worrying and love Zionist propaganda?

Rather than consent to being “educated” by Pelosi and Co., Omar ought to have conferred with her fellow Muslim colleague Rashida Tlaib’s, who stood firm after calling Trump a “motherfucker”—an apt description. Alas, Omar submitted to the will of Israel’s American forces. It’s a classic case of baptism by fire (Jews can substitute another ritual). Anyway, it’s difficult to fault Omar: would you want your career destroyed before it got off the ground?

Proud to have bullied into silence another potential truth-teller, the Democratic Leadership issued a sententious statement lauding Omar’s capitulation. “We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel … because we understand that our support is based on shared values and strategic interests. … Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive.”

“Trope”: another word abused and ruined by the US political and media establishments.

Like all the others, the latest “anti-Semitism” scrimmage is interesting for what isn’t being said. A mildly curious person might be expected to ask, for example, what exactly the Democratic Party means by “shared values and strategic interests.” True, the United States was founded on the expulsion and murder of indigenous people, but surely we no longer count racism, mass killing and land theft—Israel’s guiding principles—among our twenty-first century values? Perhaps we do, provided non-American brown people are on the receiving end of such offenses, in which case we all have a moral obligation to boycott the Democratic Party until it disavows its support for mass murder and land theft. The “shared values” bromide is shocking for its sheer iniquity.

As to “strategic interests,” they haven’t been mutual between Israel and the US since the fall of the Soviet Union. During the Cold War it could at least be argued that Israel served as a bulwark against Communist influence in the Middle East. But even that was a stretch. Israel was always a strategic liability. Take the Gulf War. Mearsheimer and Walt write in The Israel Lobby that while the “United States and its allies eventually assembled more than four hundred thousand troops to liberate Kuwait … they could not use Israeli bases or allow the IDF to participate without jeopardizing the fragile coalition against Iraq.” Why? Because Arab states refused to align themselves with a Jewish theocracy that kills and robs Palestinians with impunity.

Assuming our government regards national security as a “strategic interest,” it’s nothing short of ludicrous to view Israel as an ally. In terms of our actual security, Israel is a foe. Don’t take my word for it. Read Osama bin Laden’s Letter to America, in which the alleged mastermind of 9/11 is sparkling clear about his motives. Addressing those Americans who wonder why he struck the United States, bin Laden states that “the answer is very simple: Because you attack us and continue to attack us.” As his first example he cites Palestine,

which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily.

Is that plain enough? Israel-Palestine didn’t merely factor into bin Laden’s list of grievances: it was placed at the top. Likewise in the case of Ramzi Yousef, who attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. Per Mearsheimer and Walt, “not only did Yousef mail letters to several New York newspapers, taking credit for the attack and demanding that the United States terminate aid to Israel, he also told the agents who flew him back to the United States following his arrest … that he felt guilty about causing US deaths.” Any guilt he may have felt, journalist Steve Coll wrote, was “overridden by the strength of his desire to stop the killing of Arabs by Israeli troops.” Yousef “mentioned no other motivation during the flight and no other issue in American foreign policy that concerned him.”

Most Americans have never heard about this because our media systematically censors anything that undermines the alternate reality they’ve carefully constructed for us. But the truth remains: by enabling Israel’s delinquency, we put a big, fat target on our backs, and we make it easy for people who think like Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to recruit masses of fanatics prepared to die in the name of their evil cause.

A question begs to be answered. Are the leaders of the Democratic Party in favor of deadly acts of terror against American citizens? If yes, then their unconditional support for Israeli crimes, and hysterical attacks on anyone who speaks against them, make perfect sense. The alternative scenario—I know, I know, a horrible anti-Semitic trope—is that AIPAC’s blood money is worth more to them than the lives of their own constituents. Either way, it seems we’re in good hands. Shalom.

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