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Opinion | The dishonest smearing of Ilhan Omar

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Positivity     43.00%   
   Negativity   57.00%
The New York Times
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In the process, Pelosi and other Democrats are helping propagate a series of misconceptions about anti-Semitism, Israel, and U.S. political debate.I’m going to try to bring some clarity to this issue, understanding how difficult it can be whenever we discuss anything that touches on Israel.To be clear, I do this as someone who was raised in an intensely Zionist family with a long history of devotion and sacrifice for Israel, but who also — like many American Jews — has become increasingly dismayed not only by developments in Israel but by how we talk about it here in the United States.In the latest round of controversy, Omar said during a town hall, regarding U.S. policy toward Israel, “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.” This comment was roundly condemned by members of Congress and many others for being anti-Semitic. For many years, Jews were routinely accused of having dual loyalty, to both the United States and Israel, as a way of questioning whether they were truly American and could be trusted to do things such as serve in sensitive national security positions.That charge was anti-Semitic, because it was used to allege that every Jew was suspect, no matter what they thought about Israel, and that they could not be fully American because they were assumed to have too much affection for another country. When Gov. Greg Abbott (R) — also not a Jew — proclaims that “Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies,” he’s expressing his dual loyalty.Yet, when Omar says she shouldn’t have to do the same, everyone jumps up to accuse her of anti-Semitism, on the bogus grounds that 1) //she is secretly referring to Jews and not to what she is being asked to do; and 2) it’s some kind of anti-Semitic smear to even raise the issue of people being asked to promise their allegiance to Israel, when the truth is that members of Congress are asked to do just that.When this episode is over, Omar and everyone else will have learned a lesson.

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