Is It 'All About the Benjamins'? Ilhan Omar Claps Back at Netanyahu Over AIPAC Comments

Netanyahu told the AIPAC conference 'take it from this Benjamin, it's not about the Benjamins,' criticizing the congresswoman's controversial tweets

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Rep. Ilhan Omar attends a Youth Climate Strike, Washington D.C., March 15, 2019.
Rep. Ilhan Omar attends a Youth Climate Strike, Washington D.C., March 15, 2019.Credit: AFP

Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar went after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday night, taking to Twitter to criticize his rebuke of her in a video address he made before the AIPAC Policy Conference.

"We are not even 6 months out from the Pittsburgh massacre. We are not even 2 weeks out from the Christchurch massacre. Yet the topic Netanyahu chose to focus on was... me," the congresswoman wrote in a tweet.

Netanyahu said in his speech, which was transmitted via satellite and marred with technical glitches: "Take it from this Benjamin, it's not about the Benjamins," referring to Omar's controversial tweets slamming the pro-Israel lobby.

>> Read more: Ilhan Omar has sparked panic in AIPAC | Opinion ■ Ilhan Omar just doesn’t get why Americans support Israel

Speaking from the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu argued U.S. support for Israel "is not because they want our money, it’s because they share our values," calling for continued bi-partisan support for Israel.

Netanyahu further argued that "those who seek to undermine American support for Israel must be confronted," saying they don't stop at criticism of Israel's policies, but "spew venom that has long been directed at the Jewish people... To all the anti-Semites out there – we stand up, we fight and we win."

The congresswoman was also criticized by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in her condemnation of the BDS movement at the conference on Tuesday.

The speaker condemned the “anti-Semitic myth of dual loyalty,” referring to another of Omar's controversial tweets, and told the AIPAC audience on Tuesday morning, "we must also be vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy, and that includes BDS," referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

 “Israel and America are connected now and forever,” Pelosi said at the pro-Israel lobby’s annual event. “We will never allow anyone to make Israel a wedge issue."