Ilhan Omar team lashes out at AIPAC's 'Islamophobic smear campaigns'

Ilhan Omar team lashes out at AIPAC's 'Islamophobic smear campaigns'
Ilhan Omar's Communications Director Jeremy Slevin accused AIPAC of fuelling Islamophobia against her after they posted a targeted ad that encouraged her to 'condemn terrorists'.
2 min read
12 August, 2021
Ilhan Omar's supporters say she is being subjected to a dangerous smear campaign [Getty]

US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been subject to death threats since pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC released an ad campaign "smearing her", a member of her team has said.

AIPAC promoted an image on Facebook which included a photo of Omar with the message: "For Ilhan Omar, there is no difference between America and the Taliban. Between Israel and Hamas. Between Democracies and terrorists. Tell Rep. Omar: Condemn terrorists, not America." 

The post was captioned with: "Stand WITH America. Stand AGAINST Terrorists."

The AIPAC ad was in response to a tweet by Omar in June, which contained a video of a conversation between herself and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken where she asked him what mechanisms are in place for the victims of crimes against humanity committed by the US, Israel, Hamas, and the Taliban.

Omar's Communication Director Jeremy Slevin tweeted on Wednesday that the "language AIPAC uses in paid ads to smear and vilify @IlhanMN is virtually identical to the language used in death threats she gets".

"Make no mistake: AIPAC is putting Rep. Omar's life at risk with repeated Islamophobic attack ads," Slevin added, posting a screenshot of the advertisement.

Omar received an outpour of support on Slevin's thread, including from Palestinian-American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who said "I am so sick of this s**t."

In response, AIPAC lashed out at Slevin and Tlaib in a series of quote tweets.

"Your baseless attack on us can't deflect from @Ilhan's attack on America and Israel," the organisation tweeted. 

"It is outrageous for Rep. Omar to put the US and Israel on the same level as the Taliban and Hamas. There is no moral equivalence between democratic allies and the terrorists who target them."

Responding to Tlaib, AIPAC said: "So are we, Congresswoman. Inciting hate by demonizing Israel and spreading vicious, dangerous lies about our democratic ally Israel doesn’t advance the prospects for peace."

In July, the Minnesota Rep penned a letter asking Blinken to make the fight against Islamophobia a priority and to include state-sponsored Islamophobic violence in next year's annual human rights report.

"As part of our commitment to international religious freedom and human rights, we must recognize Islamophobia as a pattern that is repeating in nearly every corner of the globe," the Muslim lawmaker wrote in a letter.