U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s communications director is now joining his boss in drawing swift criticism for online posts.
Jeremy Slevin, a top member of the Minnesota Democrat's staff, posted online this week that “anti-Semitism is a right-wing force,” despite the accusations of bigotry his boss has faced over some controversial comments.
Slevin's message came after the congresswoman attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his speech at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) where he mentioned her and her comments, which some have deemed as anti-Semitic.
“Anti-Semitism is a right-wing force,” Slevin wrote multiple times, quoting Omar’s tweet that calls on her supporters to “confront hate and bigotry in all its forms.”
Slevin was immediately criticized on social media, with many pointing that anti-Semitism isn’t manifested only within one particular political leaning and could be found across the spectrum.
“If your first question when faced with evil is always ‘but is it right wing or left wing evil we wouldn't want the wrong side to look bad here?’ you just might have a brain morally rotted by politico-tribal warfare,” writer Nicholas Clairmont posted.
”This guy works for @IlhanMN. Note the implication of this (false, antisemitism spans the political spectrum) statement: @IlhanMN is not right-wing, so she can't be antisemitic. This is the sort of crap American Jews are going to deal with as the Dems lurch toward Corbynization,” George Mason University professor David Bernstein wrote, referring to Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party in the U.K.
The Omar staffer’s comment followed multiple anti-Semitic controversies his boss has faced over recent remarks.
Omar first came under fire for tweeting in 2012 that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
She then drew bipartisan uproar in February after she falsely suggested Jewish politicians in the U.S. were bought by AIPAC, a non-partisan organization that seeks to foster the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
Omar then reignited the controversy, saying groups supportive of Israel were pushing members of Congress to have “allegiance to a foreign country,” echoing the anti-Semitic trope of dual loyalty.
Slevin later issued something of a correction, though leaving the original tweet online, saying he should have written, “Violent anti-Semitism in the U.S. is primarily a right-wing force.”
“No disagreement,” he wrote in response to a tweet pointing out that anti-Semitism isn’t partisan. “Also true that the resurgence of violent anti-Semitism in the US is being fueled by the right. We shouldn't let those same actors pretend otherwise.”