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Local Rabbi Condemns Anti-Semitic Tweets From Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar

Rabbi Ben Sandrow says Omar's apology was "tepid at best" and that it was not really an apology.

CARMEL, Ind. -- An Indiana rabbi is voicing his concern over what's being called an anti-Semitic tweet by Minnesota Democrat Representative Ilhan Omar.

Omar is the first Muslim woman ever elected to Congress. On Twitter yesterday, Omar quoted a tweet from "The Intercept" contributor Glenn Greenwald, who said: 

"GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans"

Omar quoted the tweet with the caption: "It's all about the Benjamins baby" referring to a popular song lyric. She then went on to answer a tweet saying that the American Israel Public Affair Committee (AIPAC) is paying off members of Congress to be pro-Israel.

https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1094747501578633216 https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1094761790595088384

Prominent lawmakers on both sides of the isle took offense with the wording of the tweets calling them anti-Semitic, saying it pushes the stereotype that all Jewish people are wealthy.

The tweet drew condemnation from Omar's fellow Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

Rabbi Ben Sandrow, who runs the Shaarey Tefilla Jewish congregation in Carmel and is heavily involved with AIPAC, told Tony Katz on WIBC that Omar's statements are inexcusable and show how "uninformed" the freshman Congresswoman from Minnesota is.

"AIPAC stands for 'public affair's committee'," Sandrow said adamantly. "They do not rate candidates, they do not fund campaigns, and they certainly do not pay members of Congress to support Israel."

Omar apologized on Twitter soon after receiving the backlash. 

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” the freshman lawmaker said in her statement. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”

She continued: “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

Rabbi Sandrow said he does not consider Omar's statement "an apology" adding that it is "tepid at best."

(PHOTO: Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

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