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Ilhan Omar Can’t Break the U.S.-Israel Bond
US Rep. Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, speaks during a press conference calling on Congress to cut funding for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to defund border detention facilities, outside the US Capitol (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Ilhan Omar Can’t Break the U.S.-Israel Bond

Walter Russell Mead

To ask whether freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar was being anti-Semitic or merely inartful when she suggested U.S. support for Israel is driven by moneyed interests (“It’s all about the Benjamins baby”) and Americans who owe “allegiance to a foreign country” is a waste of time. Ms. Omar is a gifted and ambitious politician who thinks Jew-baiting will help her career; the question is not whether she is a nice person but whether she is a significant one. Does her appearance on the political stage herald a substantial change in American politics—either a renewed anti-Semitism or a diminished U.S.-Israel alliance?

The answer at this point is that Ms. Omar’s notoriety is more sizzle than steak. Politically, her election doesn’t mean very much. That the congressional district Keith Ellison represented for six terms chose Ms. Omar to replace him hardly represents a political earthquake. Mr. Ellison had ties to the Nation of Islam and a strongly anti-Israel record. Voters in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District have tolerated these sentiments for some time.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal here

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