Setting the record straight: the truth behind MassGOP’s pro-Israel resolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director
617-523-5005 ext. 245

NEWTON — The Massachusetts Jewish Republican Committee is responding to conflicting information regarding the Republican State Committee’s vote to condemn two Democratic congresswomen over their history of anti-Semitic behavior. 

Jewish Republican Committee Co-Chairman Tom Mountain said he wants to set the record straight.
“The MassGOP taking a stand condemning the behavior of two congresswomen while at the same time putting its support for Israel front-and-center is something we are proud of and won’t back down from,” Mountain said. 

The resolution itself, drafted by Mountain and Jewish Republican Committee Co-Chairman Marty Lamb, passed overwhelmingly during a voice vote. It has since faced criticism, specifically from one outlet which claimed its “incendiary charges” have “little or no basis in legitimate news sources.”

The outline included below this release cites examples pertaining to the resolution’s charges.

“It’s alarming to me that local news media would go out of its way to run interference for blatant anti-Semitism,” Lamb said. “As a Jew I cannot, and will not, be silent when faced with such blatant anti-Semitic language and actions emanating from members of Congress. The truth about these two must be told.”

“Anti-Semitism is sadly on the rise,” Mountain, who drafted the resolution, said. “If we can’t convince our own Massachusetts Congressional delegation to denounce a troubling pattern of anti-Semitism involving several of their own colleagues, then we will have to do it ourselves.”

Mountain also said he is disappointed that Democrats like Massachusetts’s own U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley are responding to concerns that anti-Semitism exists in Congress by smearing Republicans as racists and bigots.

“I must have been mistaken in thinking that this issue was something that we could all agree on,” Mountain said.

Dr. Charles Jacobs, president of the Boston-based Americans for Peace and Tolerance, applauded the resolution.

“American Jews painfully recall the day that the Democratic Party refused to call out the obvious anti-Semitic tropes coming from Omar and Tlaib,” Jacobs said. “Courageous and decent people yell ‘Stop!’ when they see hatred and racism and that’s what the MassGOP has just done.

“They are to be congratulated and thanked.”

Republican State Committee member Debby Dugan said she’d vote for the resolution again.

“It was important that our Republican State Committee voted to condemn the hatred expressed toward our fellow Jewish citizens, toward all Jews everywhere, and toward our ally, Israel,” Dugan said.

Added Republican State Committee member Patricia Saint Aubin:

“Tuesday’s resolution was simple, it required our support. Anti-Semitism requires condemnation whenever it is seen.”

FACT CHECK REGARDING THE RESOLUTION ADDRESSING U.S. REPS ILHAN OMAR (D-Minn.) AND RASHIDA TLAIB (D-Mich.) 

  • Have Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib “aligned themselves with the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas?” 

Omar: Has publicly declared support for Hormuud, a Somali telecom outfit that has been identified as a sponsor of terrorism. Per a Times of Israel report, quoting from a UN Security Council report: “Hormuud Telecommunications has provided key material and logistical support to al-Shabaab to include weapons, private fighters, and ammunition.” In 2012, al-Shabaab proclaimed its allegiance to al-Qaeda and later claimed responsibility for a shopping mall attack in Kenya and a 2017 truck bombing in Somalia that resulted in more than 500 deaths. 

Omar has also previously taken to social media to call for the release of an imprisoned senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, per the Jerusalem Post, which notes that the group “promotes a platform called ‘The Project,’ an 18-page plan that is focused on destroying the Western world from within its border.” Meanwhile a video surfaced of Omar mocking the manner in which her former college professor expressed his fear of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda

Tlaib: Has posed for photo-ops with “Hezbollah-backing anti-Israel activist Abbas Hamideh,” an individual who has previously equated Zionists with Nazis and praised other terrorist groups, including Hamas. The ADL has asked Tlaib to explain the photo. She responded by saying, “yes, I am Muslim and Palestinian, get over it.” Tlaib later added she did not know the man, only to pose with another Palestinian activist months later known for mourning the death of a terrorist who led an attack that led to a rabbi’s death.

  • Are both Omar and Tlaib “leading proponents in Congress of the anti-Semitic ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ movement against the Jewish State of Israel?” 

Omar: Most recently advocated for the anti-Israel BDS movement during an appearance on CBS News’s Face the Nation. Introduced pro-BDS resolution in Congress.

Tlaib: Defended her pro-BDS stance during a CNN appearance. Doubled-down on her anti-Israel stance when host Jake Tapper asked if she would support the same movement against other oppressive Middle East regimes.

  • Have both Omar and Tlaib “called into question the extent or severity of the Holocaust” or “aligned themselves with Holocaust deniers?”

Omar: Shared, along with Tlaib, anti-Israel cartoon created by an artist who placed 2nd in a Iran-sponsored anti-Holocaust cartoon competition. 

Tlaib: Claimed that Palestinians “created a safe haven for Jews” following the Holocaust, yet Palestine actively worked to prevent persecuted Jews from fleeing Nazi Germany and finding refuge in the Middle East. Responded on social media by accusing those who questioned her comments as pushing “a racist and hateful agenda.” Tlaib has also maintained ties with fundraiser and activist Maher Abdel-qader, whose social media entries include posts questioning the Holocaust’s history.  

  • Have both “led the charge in Congress to end U.S. aid to our prime ally Israel” and “openly advocated for the destruction of that nation?” 

Omar: Introduced pro-BDS resolution in Congress. Has said Congress should end aid to Israel. Tweeted, then deleted and apologized for, the following: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel” — yet later remarked how U.S. support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins.”

Tlaib: Signed on to Omar’s pro-BDS resolution. A report issued by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs has provided conclusive evidence of terrorist organizations’ support of BDS activities.

  • Has Omar “sought to belittle the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and knowingly and falsely accused U.S. soldiers who fought and died in her native Somalia of war crimes?”

Omar: At a Council of American-Islamic Relations event in March, Omar said the following — “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” CAIR, however, was founded in 1994. Meanwhile, in 2017, Omar responded to another Twitter user who mentioned the 17 Americans who perished in the battle of Mogadishu by falsely claiming that “thousands of Somalis were killed” by American forces, added by a #NotTodaySatan hashtag. 

  • Have both Omar and Tlaib “befriended, praised, or attempted to aid and abet convicted terrorists?”

Omar: According to the Washington Post, Omar in 2016 following her election submitted a letter on behalf of nine Somalis convicted for attempting to on behalf of ISIS in Syria, urging no prison time. “The desire to commit violence is not inherent in people — it is the consequence of systemic alienation,” Omar wrote in her letter to the presiding judge.

Tlaib: Tlaib has a history of inviting pro-terrorist activists to events on Capitol Hill. Moreover, according to the Jerusalem Post, Tlaib “has shared photos [of] Mohammed Ali, a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed three Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem in an incident that was captured on video,” and has also “shared praise for Imad Mughniyeh, the Hezbollah terrorist responsible for the murder of 242 United States servicemen in a 1982 suicide bombing in Lebanon against US forces stationed there on an UN-sanctioned peace-keeping mission.”

  • Have both Omar and Tlaib “repeatedly demonstrated an anti-Semitic demeanor contrary to Congressional ethics, social mores, and common decency?” 

Omar: In March, Omar’s anti-Zionist efforts were praised by noneother than David Duke. Democratic leadership, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have “condemned” Omar for “using anti-Semitic tropes,” “We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments,” Pelosi and other leadership members wrote in February following Omar’s “all about the Benjamins” comment. Omar’s fellow House Democrats later introduced a resolution specifically condemning anti-Semitism only to bow to political pressure and swap it out in exchange for a generalized resolution condemning all forms of hate. It was after these incidents that Omar nevertheless chose to promote an anti-Israel cartoon created by a known Holocaust critic.

Tlaib: Earlier this year, Tlaib association with a fundraiser known for sharing anti-Semitic videos on social media caught the attention of the New York Times. Meanwhile, her canceled journey to Israel with Omar would have been sponsored by Miftah, an outfit which once published an anti-Jewish “blood libel”. Tlaib has also argued that boycotting Israel is the equivalent of boycotting Nazi Germany.

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