Controversial freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday just hours after Netanyahu responded to Omar's anti-Semitic comments related to pro-Israel American politicians.
In her short time in Congress, which has spanned less than three months, Omar has become a lightning rod figure over her frequent and unapologetic use of anti-Semitic tropes. She has both accused pro-Israel lawmakers of having dual loyalty to Israel, a classic and exhausted anti-Semitic charge, and accused the same politicians of being paid by pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC for their support.
What did Netanyahu say?
Speaking via satellite to AIPAC's annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., Netanyahu took an indirect jab at the Minnesota Democrat, pushing back at her anti-Semitic claims.
"Take it from this Benjamin: It's not about the Benjamins!" Netanyahu declared.
"The reason Americans love Israel is not because they want our money, it's because they share our values," Netanyahu explained. "It's because America and Israel share a love of freedom and democracy."
Netanyahu at AIPAC: 'Take It From This Benjamin, It's Not About the Benjamins' youtu.be
In February, Omar suggested that near-unanimous Republican support for Israel is "all about the Benjamins baby." Specifically, she was criticizing the power AIPAC wields on Capitol Hill, later claiming the group pays politicians for their support. The comments generated bipartisan condemnation at the time.
How did Omar respond?
In response, Omar pointed out that Netanyahu has been indicted in Israel on charges of bribery and breach of trust.
Omar later claimed that "the topic PM Netanyahu chose to focus on was…me" while ignoring extremist attacks occurring worldwide.
However, in reality, Netanyahu dedicated just a seconds-long reference to Omar's anti-Semitic charge. He mainly discussed the longstanding relationship between the U.S. and Israel.