Ilhan Omar has a point

First, this week arguably demonstrated her broader point. She gave a talk about how accusations of antisemitism tend to silence critics of Israel. In response, she was swiftly called a “Jew hater.”

Second, there’s the sheer hypocrisy factor. Many of the Republicans attacking Omar now have shown little if any concern about their own party’s use of antisemitic tropes. And as Omar points out, they also haven’t shown much concern about the Islamophobic attacks or death threats that have been come her way.

Then there’s the substance of the matter. In recent years, Israel’s most conservative backers (the vast majority of whom are not Jewish) have taken steps that unfortunately blur the distinction between supporting a country and showing loyalty to it. Welcoming Netanyahu to Washington in 2015 was one example. Boehner made the unprecedented decision to invite the Israeli prime minister without first informing the White House, to ensure that “there was no interference” from the administration. Some suggested the move may have been unconstitutional. It is normal and healthy for Congress and the White House to clash over foreign policy. It is not normal, however, for opposition lawmakers and a foreign leader to publicly work hand-in-hand to undermine the diplomatic efforts of a sitting U.S. president. This does not mean Republicans were actively trying to undermine America’s interests on behalf of Israel; they saw them as one in the same. But given a choice between Netanyahu and Obama, as Saletan wrote, it was pretty clear who Republicans felt more loyalty to.