The Backchannel
The Backchannel
Apr 5, 2019
Extremely Offline: Batya Ungar-Sargon and Omar Baddar on Palestine, Israel, Anti-Semitism, Zionism, and Ilhan Omar
Play • 1 hr 10 min

It's unusual for a freshman member of Congress to draw as much attention as Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar. In just a few short months in Congress, she has been the center of numerous media firestorms after making repeatedly making remarks her supporters believe are exposing the influence of a powerful lobbying group and what her detractors would say is anti-Semitic.

On Capitol Hill, her own party's leadership has condemned her remarks on the influence of the pro-Israel lobby.

Omar Baddar, deputy director of the Arab American Institute disagrees with Schumer. He thinks the Congresswoman is being targeted by a powerful political machine that is distorting her message in order to defend a  status quo that is supportive of the Israeli government.

Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor at the Jewish Daily Forward, agrees with Omar that the occupation of the Palestinians must end and that we need to change U.S. policy towards Israel. But she believes the Congresswoman's rhetoric has been needlessly polarizing and often moved us further away from a just solution.

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