A rabbi from Rep. Ilhan Omar’s home district in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is speaking out against President Donald Trump’s tweets from last weekend attacking the lawmaker and three other congresswomen of color.
Rabbi Avi Olitzky, speaking to ABC News about the matter, also said that chants of “send her back” during a Trump rally on Wednesday disturbed him.
“This is a very eerie wave of similar situations in history, be that Nazi Germany or elsewhere,” Olitzky said.
Trump’s attacks, specifically on Omar, stem from comments she’s made that some have criticized in the past as being anti-Semitic. Democratic leadership in Congress condemned her remarks, and Omar, citing ignorance on the tropes she accidentally used, apologized for them in February, per reporting from the Washington Post.
In spite of those apologies, Trump attacked Omar this week, citing those comments for why he’s been so vociferously opposed to her as of late — and creating a few new ones that Omar hasn’t actually said.
Rabbi Avi Olitzky of Beth El Synagogue in Minneapolis, Minnesota statements on public expressions of hate. https://t.co/Z4xG4YKhXm
— Vicki Johnson (@VickiJo95367827) July 19, 2019
Trump has claimed, for example, that Omar has defended the terrorist organization al Qaeda, calling it “wonderful” and giving it glowing praise. Yet there’s no evidence, visual or otherwise, of Omar actually making comments like those or anything related to them, USA Today reported.
Trump also asserted in comments this week that Omar “hates Jews.”
Olitzky was critical of Trump for using “the Jewish community as a political football” in order to make attacks against Omar.
In a Facebook post he made after Trump’s controversial tweets and statements, Olitzky acknowledged that some of Omar’s comments in the past, in his view, were troubling. But he had to speak out against Trump this week, he said, because of the racist nature of his attacks against her.
“Even if her previous remarks may be offensive and even if she disagrees with the policies of the current Israeli government, I cannot stay silent today,” Olitzky wrote. “I stand fully beside her — and her colleagues — and support her in the face of the recent racist tweets of the president.”