U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib shared a photo on Twitter of an anonymous note that was left on her office door Tuesday accusing her colleague, Rep. Ilhan Omar, of “disgusting Jew hatred.”
The message, written on a blue Post-It Note, reads, “Rep. Omar, Stop your disgusting Jew hatred. Your sign says ‘Justice for all.’ That means Jews too. Your jihab against the Jews will fail. Am Yisrael Chai!” The last phrase refers to a Hebrew chant that means “the nation of Israel lives.”
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Tlaib condemned the poison pen letter in her tweet, challenging its author’s accusations of anti-Semitism.
“This is the hateful rhetoric & bullying on my door today,” she wrote. “Stop the fear-mongering and blatant lies.
“[Rep. Omar] and I fight for equality and justice for all,” she continued. “There’s nothing anti-Semitic about that!”
This is the hateful rhetoric & bullying on my door today. Stop the fear mongering & blantant lies. Come here w/ the value that all beings deserve human rights, including Palestinians. @IlhanMN & I fight for equality & justice for all. There's nothing antisemitic about that! pic.twitter.com/kCpLepJk3F
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 26, 2019
In a 2012 tweet, Omar, a refugee from Somalia, wrote, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” in response to Israel’s November 2012 operation against Hamas in Gaza.
She’s since defended and explained her tweet, saying in a 2019 interview with CNN, “Those unfortunate words were the only words I could think about expressing at that moment. What is really important to me is that people recognize that there is a difference between criticizing a military action by a government that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attacking to particular people of faith.”
Omar was elected in November to Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District and became one of the first two Muslim women elected, and the first woman of color to represent Minnesota, according to the Times of Israel.
Tlaib also became the subject of anti-Semitic scrutiny when she tweeted in January that people supporting a bill that punishes Israel boycotters “forgot what country they represent.”
She continues, “This is the U.S., where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.”
The tweet was dismissed by one critic as “old anti-Semitic ‘dual loyalty’ garbage,” and condemned by Sen. Marco Rubio, who introduced the bill.
Though some on Twitter reacted to the hateful note by siding with its author, others came to the defense of Omar and Tlaib.
Absolutely true! Please stand your ground. We are a diverse nation, with all kinds of people. As an old man who is a Jew, I am proud to stand with you and Congresswoman Omar in your defense of diversity and inclusion. Freedom for all people! #IStandWithIlhan !
— llarks 🌹 #RunBernieRun (@llarks) March 27, 2019
I’m with you both. Ignore all the hate and keep standing up for what’s right.
— Steve Lightfoot (@SteveLighty) March 27, 2019
Still others doubted the note’s authenticity, comparing it to the case of Jussie Smollett, who was accused of a hate crime hoax in February by attackers he claims defended “MAGA country” when he was returning from a late-night stop at a Subway sandwich shop, only to have the charges dropped in March.
I don’t know, I just don’t think it’s legit unless it also says “THIS IS MAGA COUNTRY!!!”
— Mindy Robinson 🇺🇸 (@iheartmindy) March 27, 2019
The big question is, did you keep holding on to your sandwich? pic.twitter.com/sfhYfRJPxa
— Chris (@EauClaireChris) March 27, 2019
Omar has not publicly addressed the note as of Wednesday morning.
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