WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: Protestors demonstrate outside of the Verizon Center during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on March 21, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Presidential candidates from both parties gathered in Washington to pitch their plans for Israel.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: Protestors demonstrate outside of the Verizon Center during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on March 21, 2016 in Washington, D.C. Presidential candidates from both parties gathered in Washington to pitch their plans for Israel.

Last month, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MN, tweeted that American political leaders’ support of Israel is “all about the Benjamins.” Then, last week, she made a remark at an event that insinuated pro-Israel lawmakers are under a “political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

A political firestorm erupted.

Some say Rep. Omar’s comments are anti-Semitic, hinging on an age-old conspiracy about Jewish money and influence.

Some say America’s relationship with Israel is problematic.

Some say it’s possible to believe both.

In response to Rep. Omar’s comments, the House passed a sweeping resolution condemning anti-Semitism and discrimination of Muslims. But that agenda was clouded by a debate over the pro-Israel lobby, which has widened a rift in the Democratic party.

Is it possible to speak out against Israel’s policies without disparaging Jewish people? And what happens when people conflate anti-Semitism and criticizing Israel?

Show produced by Avery Kleinman. Text by Kathryn Fink.

Guests

  • Jeremy Ben-Ami President, J Street; @JeremyBenAmi
  • Nihad Awad Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); @NihadAwad
  • Nathan Guttman Washington correspondent, Israeli Public TV; @nathanguttman
  • Deborah Lipstadt Author, "Antisemitism: Here and Now"; Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, Emory University; @deborahlipstadt

Topics + Tags

Most Recent Shows