Anti-Semitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) repeatedly stated on Wednesday that she was opposed to sanctioning Turkey — a country where 98% of its inhabitants identify as Muslim — because it was “failed foreign policy” and it unjustly targeted Turkey’s citizens.
The problem with Omar opposing sanctions is that she is an avid supporter of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that is designed to destroy the state of Israel.
Omar penned an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Wednesday titled: “Ilhan Omar: Sanctions are part of a failed foreign policy playbook. Stop relying on them.”
In the op-ed, Omar wrote that enacting sanctions against authoritative regimes that commit human rights abuses — Iran, Venezuela, and Turkey — would hurt the people of those countries and ultimately would not be successful:
In the White House announcement on Oct. 14 of sanctions on Turkey, Trump said, “I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.” He imposed those sanctions before lifting them Tuesday, only to threaten more “crippling sanctions.”
This is an unmistakable echo of the failed U.S. strategy of “maximum pressure” on Iran and Venezuela. And just as with those two countries, it would be a humanitarian and geopolitical disaster.
In so much of our foreign policy, we rely on muscle memory and a limited toolbox to decide the best course of action. And, too often, sanctions regimes are ill considered, incoherent and counterproductive.
Research has shown that sanctions rarely achieve their desired goals. In the worst-case scenario, they hurt the people of a country — generally the very people we’re purporting to help — without making a dent in the country’s behavior. And in the case of human rights abusers, research suggests that more abuses typically occur with economic sanctions in place than without them.
Later in the day, Omar said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Syria that the “Kurds have the right to exist as Kurds” and have a right to “self-determination.”
Omar also said that there needs to be “accountability” for Turkey’s actions, adding that “accountability does not mean canceling and freezing bank accounts. It does not mean crippling the Turkish economy, enacting mass punishment on populations that didn’t choose this.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on U.S. foreign policy:
-“Kurds have the right to exist as Kurds”
-Sanctioning Turkey is “enacting mass punishment on populations that didn’t choose this”
Omar is a supporter of the anti-Semitic BDS movement that aims to destroy Israel through sanctions pic.twitter.com/9GoaKrWTAu
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 24, 2019
Omar’s support of the anti-Semitic BDS movement has been widely condemned by many in her own party, including by Obama’s U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, who tweeted earlier this year: “Some of us remained uncomfortably quiet after her BDS flip-flop & other offensive remarks because we were aware of efforts to work with her: by colleagues, party leaders, her local Jewish community in MN. She indicated to them she had other policy priorities, not Is/Pal issues.”
“But these efforts have failed. Her support for BDS is apparently her essence: blaming Israel alone for the conflict, absolving Palestinians of all responsibility, delegitimizing Israel’s very existence, & accusing its supporters of shallow motives & manipulation by Jewish money,” Shapiro continued.
3. But these efforts have failed. Her support for BDS is apparently her essence: blaming Israel alone for the conflict, absolving Palestinians of all responsibility, delegitimizing Israel’s very existence, &accusing its supporters of shallow motives &manipulation by Jewish money.
— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) February 11, 2019
Omar, who even introduced a pro-BDS resolution earlier this year in Congress, was essentially condemned by Pelosi at AIPAC, although Pelosi did not use her name directly.
“We must also be vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy, and that includes BDS,” Pelosi said. “Did you know this? It does not recognize — and many of its supporters don’t know or explicitly deny — it does not recognize the right of Jewish people to national self-determination.”
“I simply declare to be anti-Semitic is to be anti-American,” Pelosi added. “It has no place in our country.”
Earlier this year, Omar ran when she was asked by CNN about why she supported the anti-Semitic BDS movement.