Can Ilhan Omar Overcome Her Prejudice?

(Wall Street Journal) Ayaan Hirsi Ali - Like Ilhan Omar, I was born in Somalia and exposed at an early age to Muslim anti-Semitism. Things would break, conflicts would arise, shortages would occur - and adults would blame it all on the Jews. When my mom lost her temper at someone, she would scream or curse under her breath "Yahud!" I was made to understand that Jews - Yahud - were all bad, even though there were no Jews around. We were taught that the Jews were not human, that we should aspire to kill them wherever we found them. We were taught that the Jews occupied the Holy Land of Palestine. We were shown pictures of mutilated bodies, dead children, wailing widows and weeping orphans. Standing over them in military uniform were Israeli soldiers with large guns. Ms. Omar tweeted in February, "It's all about the Benjamins baby," implying that American politicians support Israel only because of Jewish financial contributions. The irony is that the resources available to propagate Islamist ideologies, with their attendant anti-Semitism, vastly exceed what pro-Israel groups spend in the U.S. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that the Israeli government has spent $34 million on lobbying in Washington since 2017. The Saudis and Qataris spent a combined $51 million during the same period. I eventually unlearned my hatred of Jews, Zionists and Israel. I am living proof that one can be born a Somali, raised as an anti-Semite, indoctrinated as an anti-Zionist - and still overcome all this to appreciate the unique culture of Judaism and the extraordinary achievement of the State of Israel. The writer, a former member of the Dutch Parliament, is a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

2019-07-16 00:00:00

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