Despite Apology for AIPAC Tweet, Ilhan Omar Uses Controversy for Fundraising

The new campaign, which includes a direct link for donations, quotes a news headline about U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand that Omar resign over her comments

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., arrives for President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington,  February 5, 2019.
AP/Carolyn Kaster

WASHINGTON - Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar launched an online fundraising campaign titled "We Won't Be Silenced" after being condemned for a tweet widely seen as anti-Semitic, this despite apologizing for her comments.

Omar was sharply criticized after tweeting earlier this week that support for Israel in the United States was “all about the Benjamins.” When asked what she meant, the Minnesota representative answered: "AIPAC!"

She issued an apology on Monday, saying that "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 new campaign, which includes a direct link for donations and a webpage, quotes a news headline about U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand that Omar resign.

>> Ilhan Omar said AIPAC pays lawmakers to be pro-Israel. Here’s how the lobbying group really operates ■ Ilhan Omar has sparked panic in AIPAC ■ Thanks to Ilhan Omar, U.S. Jews just got their Jeremy Corbyn moment

Trump said that Omar “should be ashamed of herself," and that her apology was "lame." This led to criticism of his own past statements on issues related to Jews and anti-Semitism, such as his assertion that “very fine people” were among the neo-Nazi rioters in Charlottesville.

Earlier this week, Haaretz reported that AIPAC was also using the controversy for fundraising purposes. The pro-Israel lobby sent its donors an email on Tuesday urging them to give money to the group as an answer to Omar’s tweets.

“We are proud that members of Congress from both sides of the aisle continue to stand together to condemn illegitimate attacks on the pro-Israel community," said the email.

"We are determined to continue our bipartisan efforts in support of the shared values that unite America and Israel. Please renew your commitment to this important work today."