The Minnesota Congresswoman Who Can Criticize Israel
USCPR Executive Director Yousef Munayyer was quoted by Huffpost in an article that uncovers the racism and Islamophobia at the root of attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar, which becomes all the more evident when compared to the relative silence by right-wing hatemongers on Rep. Betty McCollum, who has been a consistent advocate for Palestinian rights in Congress.
Omar, who is Black, Muslim and an immigrant from Somalia, represents “a perfect storm of characteristics that they could try to attack and portray as the problem to a white evangelical base,” said Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
“Rep. McCollum,” Munayyer added, “didn’t fit the poster.”
Even if Omar used the same language that McCollum has in criticizing Israel, she would still be maligned as an anti-Semite, Munayyer argued. “You can try to be as careful as you want with your language, obviously it’s important that everyone should be careful with their language on this issue,” he said, “but when no matter what you say, you’re being attacked because of who you are. It’s not about what you’re saying, it’s about you having a voice on this issue.”