This week marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration camp known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, located in modern-day Poland. The media reported on the anniversary, which is also observed as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The mission of remembering the Holocaust is to honor the victims of the Holocaust and of anti-Semitism.
However, the mainstream media ignored a tweet by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a freshman congresswoman who has publicly espoused anti-Israel opinions. Omar tweeted a call to action, “On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we mourn the lives of 6 million Jews who were systematically murdered.” She continued, “Today and every day, we must redouble our efforts to confront anti-Semitism and all forms of religious discrimination and say #NeverAgain.”
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we mourn the lives of 6 million Jews who were systematically murdered.
Today and every day, we must redouble our efforts to confront anti-Semitism and all forms of religious discrimination and say #NeverAgain.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 27, 2020
Although Omar’s tweet contained strong reassurances of her commitment to fight anti-Semitism, her past statements and rhetoric differ from her tweet on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. She has been an outspoken critic of Israel, calling for support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (known as the BDS movement). One critic, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, issued a statement last year condemning Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for supporting the BDS movement. He said that the BDS movement “is not free speech…it is no less than economic warfare designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the Jewish State.”
Last fall, the Israeli government barred her and Rep. Tlaib from entering the country on an international visit, due to their support for the BDS movement. The mainstream media blasted the Israeli government for the travel ban, but ignored important details about their planned visit (such as both congresswomen snubbing a meeting with Israeli government officials on the trip).
Yet the mainstream media failed to report that Omar’s tweet took a very different stance compared to her past statements. If Omar changed her tune on Israel, and therefore, changed her policy positions, it would be a marked departure from past statements. The media criticizes politicians for changing policy stances and being hypocrites, but when it comes to Omar, the media remains silent over the possible implications of her tweet.