After I tweeted about Omar on Monday, an anti-racist activist sent me a message expressing genuine confusion about why I found the congresswoman’s words offensive. After all, it’s hardly radical to point out that lobbyist money has pernicious political effects. (Aipac doesn’t make direct contributions to candidates, but it does rally donors on their behalf.) And I certainly have no problem with denunciations of Aipac, which plays a malign role in pushing American policy in the Middle East to the right.
But at a moment when activists have finally pried open space in American politics to question our relationship with Israel, it’s particularly incumbent on Israel’s legitimate critics to avoid anything that smacks of anti-Jewish bigotry. And the idea of Jews as global puppet masters, using their financial savvy to make the gentiles do their bidding, clearly does.