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Rabbis shouldn’t defend Omar
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Rabbis shouldn’t defend Omar

I began reading the front-page article about Rabbi Avi Olitzky defending Rep. Ilhan Omar because I couldn’t understand on what basis a rabbi could excuse Omar and her “squad” for their vile lies and accusations (“Rabbi with local roots defends Omar in viral Facebook post,” July 25). As I read the entire article, I saw that Olitzky was joined by a host of N.J. rabbis who defended this dangerous quartet. They and the Minnesota Rabbinical Association joined forces in turning President Donald Trump’s rebuke to the “squad” into a racist attack against them by a “racist” president. They should be ashamed of themselves and owe their congregants a huge apology for misleading them.

Nowhere in the NJJN article were there mentions of the ugly, inexcusable, fallacious, inflammatory, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-American slanders that fall out of the mouths on a regular basis of Omar and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Rashida Tlaib. Who was it who announced that the Jews are “all about the Benjamins?” Who celebrates and appears at events hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood? Who regularly calls for the impeachment of our democratically elected president and refers to him with foul language, such as the “occupant” of the White House? Who has made statements in support of al Qaeda, accused Jews of dual loyalty, voted against the anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) resolution in Congress? Voted against funding to safeguard our border, and described the migrant detention camps as modern-day concentration camps? This is only the beginning of a list of offenses Americans have had to endure from Omar and her “squad.”

As for Trump’s comment that they should “go back” to the places they came from, Tlaib has draped herself in the flag of the Palestinian Authority and replaced Israel with a “map of Palestine” in her congressional office, even though such a place doesn’t exist and neither does such a people. (But this is a history lesson for another time and place).

Trump’s language may be unpolished, but his purpose is clear. America is facing great danger today from an insidious, well-funded plan against it. America’s rabbis have the special responsibility of sounding a wake-up call, instead of soothing their congregants back to sleep. Let’s see them shoulder that burden with courage and honesty.

Helen Freedman
Co-Executive Director
Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI

Editor’s Note: The July 25 NJJN story referenced Rep. Ilhan Omar’s “anti-Semitic tweets.”

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