Monday, February 11, 2019
The Central Conference of American Rabbis condemns yesterday’s claim by U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) that United States leaders support Israel “because of the Benjamins.”
The notion that U.S. support for Israel is based on Jewish money reflects the most vile of classical antisemitic tropes, namely the calumny that Jews control the world with money and through disproportionate power.
Reform rabbis have visited Israel with many of Rep. Omar’s colleagues of both parties. We know the true reason that they support Israel: Israel is the Jewish people’s homeland; Israel serves as an ever-ready refuge for Jews who face persecution; and Israel is a reliable democratic ally of the United States in a strategically important part of the world. Most members of Congress, like Reform rabbis, also care deeply about the welfare of the Palestinian people, and call for two states for two people as part of their strong support for the Jewish State.
We call upon Rep. Omar to apologize for her hateful antisemitic statement. Failing that, we call upon Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all members of Congress of both parties to join us in condemning Rep. Omar’s antisemitic statement.
Rabbi David E. Stern
Rabbi Steven A. Fox
Central Conference of American Rabbis