People on the right seem unable to stop comparing Representative Ilhan Omar to white supremacists.
David Friedman, an adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign who served under him as the U.S. ambassador to Israel, shared a tweet Tuesday that put the congresswoman on a level with Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
It is, of course, absolutely bananas to compare Omar and Fuentes. Since taking office in 2019, Omar—one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress—has been repeatedly accused of antisemitism.
In early 2019, she said the U.S.-Israel relationship was “all about the Benjamins,” a reference to $100 bills. Omar was accused of propagating an antisemitic trope that Jewish people use money for influence. When she heard the criticism, she “unequivocally” apologized for her language.
But the claim that Omar is an antisemite has continued, often fueled by bad-faith attacks on her criticism of Israel. She was accused of saying Jews hold dual loyalty, for example, when she was actually accusing U.S. politicians of being overly pro-Israel.
Fuentes, on the other hand, actively promotes antisemitic views, such as denying the Holocaust and praising Hitler. A white Christian nationalist, he has said Jews are not part of Western civilization because they’re not Christian, and he has expressed support for a Catholic autocracy in the U.S. He has spread Covid-19 conspiracy theories and embraced homophobic and transphobic stances.
He is also apparently now close with Kanye West, who said he sympathizes with Nazis and likes Hitler.
Friedman’s comments came after Representative Kevin McCarthy doubled down on his promise to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee should he be elected speaker of the House, again accusing her of antisemitism.
A coalition of liberal Jewish groups pushed back on him, saying his decision was “based on false accusations that she is antisemitic or anti-Israel.”
“We may not agree with some of Congresswoman Omar’s opinions, but we categorically reject the suggestion that any of her policy positions or statements merit disqualification from her role on the committee,” the groups said in an open letter published Monday.
“Leader McCarthy’s pledge seems especially exploitative in light of the rampant promotion of antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories by him and his top deputies amid a surge in dangerous right-wing antisemitism.”