A Synagogue in Minnesota is at the center of controversy in the Jewish community for their decision to host an anti-Jewish, pro-Hamas Muslim candidate for a political forum this month.
On Monday August 6, Beth El Synagogue in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota is hosting the “MN CD5 DFL Primary Candidate Forum” in which Rep. Ilhan Omar will be participating. The forum was organized by four Minnesota Jewish organizations, including: the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), Jewish Community Action (JCA), National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota (NCJW), and TC Jewfolk.
Omar, who is currently a Representative for the Democrat-Farmer-Labor Party in the Minnesota House of Representatives is running for Congress to take over Keith Ellison’s seat in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.
Despite the fact that the Synagogue’s primary purpose is a place of worship for members of the Jewish community, the synagogue will serve as the venue for a forum that will platform a candidate who is openly anti-Jewish and anti-Israel.
Omar, who is a Muslim immigrant from Somalia, has a history of making anti-Jewish remarks and has been endorsed and supported by some of the nation’s most notorious Jew haters.
In 2012, Omar Tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel.”
Omar is also close with radical leftist Muslim Brotherhood supporter, Linda Sarsour.
Marni Hockengberg, a Jewish Conservative woman who lives in Minnesota said she is outraged over what she views as the total betrayal of the Jewish community by the synagogue, as well as the four Jewish organizations that organized the forum.
“Omar is connected to CAIR, a terrorist organization due to it’s support and financing of Hamas. CAIR is Hamas, and Hamas openly calls for the death and destruction of Jews and Israel,” Hockengberg said. “I think it’s a dericliction of the Synogugue’s duty as leaders of the Jewish community to promote a person who is openly hostile to its own Jewish membership and the state of Israel.”
Hockenberg also noted how the hosting Jewish organizations have not hosted any Republican candidate forums at the Synagogue. “The Minnesota Republican Jewish Coalition has over 700 members, and we are being ignored by our own leaders in the Jewish community.”
When contacted with a request for comment regarding their decision to host an anti-Israel terror tied Congressional candidate at a Synagogue, a representative for the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Minnesota and the Dakotas said the following:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, in partnership with Jewish Community Action, National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota, and TC Jewfolk will host a DFL primary candidate forum featuring all five DFL candidates for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District at Beth El Synagogue on August 6, 2018. Jewish Minnesotans are interested in many of the same national and local issues as our non-Jewish neighbors and there are also issues which are more specific to the Jewish community that will be addressed.
The sponsoring organizations look forward to welcoming Minnesotans from all backgrounds to hear directly from the candidates. The forum’s moderator, Mary Lahammer, a veteran political reporter, will ask questions on issues such as the rise in anti-Semitism; Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement; and the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
In November, Omar traveled to Dearborn, Michigan where she participated in political events with Sarsour, a rabid anti-Semite and pro-Hamas mouthpiece. Besides being an ardent supporter of Hamas and CAIR, both of which are Islamic terrorist organizations, Sarsour herself often tweets about her hatred for Israel, Zionism, and her desires to implement Sharia Law in the United States. Sarsour has also has endorsed Omar’s campaign.
As if Sarsour’s lengthy resume of prolonged Jew hatred isn’t enough of a reason for Jewish organizations to distance themselves from her or anyone associated with her, she was also photographed smiling in front of a swastika, the symbol of the Nazis who killed six million Jews during the Holocaust.
Not only is Omar vocal about her hatred for Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, but she has been endorsed and supported by CAIR.
CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, is listed as a designated terrorist organization by a federal judge, the U.S. Attorney Generals office, and the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals as having direct ties to Hamas.
Hamas has also been classified as a designated terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department and is listed as a co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial in 2008, which is the largest terrorism financing case in U.S. history. In the Covenant of Hamas, which outlines the goals and motive of Hamas and its members, it states that one of its main goals in the destruction of Israel.
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”
Despite the fact that CAIR has been directly linked to terror financing and is recognized as a terrorist organization in the majority Muslim United Arab Emirates, Omar has not denounced CAIR, and has instead chosen to work alongside the terrorist organization to push for more Islamic influence in American politics. On December 9, 2017, Omar spoke at CAIR San Francisco’s 23rd Annual Banquet. During the banquet, Omar took time during her speech to bash America as a discriminatory, white supremacist country that didn’t make her feel welcome when she immigrated to the United States from Somalia, a third world Islamic terrorism hotbed.
While JCRC said that Mary Lahammer, the forum’s moderator will ask the candidates questions about anti-semitism and the anti-Israel BDS movement, it is worth noting that JCRC chose to not denounce Omar and her anti-Israel pro-Hamas rhetoric and positions. In the same request for comment, JCRC was asked whether or not they would condemn Omar and her remarks. JCRC did not address that question in their statement.
The event, which is listed as being open to the public, will include all of the DFL candidates for CD5: Rep. Ilhan Omar, Fmr. Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, State Senator Patricia Torres Ray, Frank Drake, and Jamal Abdulahi.
The forum is free and open to the public and to the media.
Editor’s Note: This piece has updated to reflect that JCA stands for Jewish Community Action.
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