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For Ilhan Omar, It’s All About the Benjamins
But what are Pakistan and Qatar buying from her?
By Robert Spencer
Back in February 2019, Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu) aroused fury and disgust by, as the Washington Post delicately put it, asserting that “the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, the influential lobbying group, is paying American politicians to take pro-Israel stances.” Omar herself put it more colorfully, saying that “it’s all about the benjamins, baby.” (Benjamins, kids, are hundred-dollar bills, so named after Benjamin Franklin, whose visage graced them before we all switched over to digital money we never see.) So now that it has come to light that Omar has been receiving a considerable number of benjamins of her own from the jihad terror-linked states of Qatar and Pakistan, her stance is clear: Omar never had a principled stance against foreign influence at all. Some benjamins from foreign entities are just fine.
Jewish Insider recently revealed that when Omar went to Qatar for the World Cup last November, “the trip was funded by the Qatari government, according to an annual House financial disclosure filed in May.” In keeping with Omar’s longstanding and well-established hatred of the Jewish state, Qatar was found to be behind statements from American universities that were hostile to Israel. Qatar also funds Hamas, al Qaeda and Hizballah.
Even worse, Qatar is, according to the National Interest, one of the “staunchest supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the United States are dedicated, according to a captured internal document, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house.”
Hey, what better way to carry out that sabotage than by placing an operative in the United States Congress? But Ilhan Omar couldn’t possibly be working on behalf of Muslim Brotherhood interests, could she? Oh, surely not! Apparently aware, however, of how bad all this would look, Omar had been decidedly cagey about who exactly funded her Qatar junket: “her office did not answer questions from The New York Times in December about the funding source after she had returned.”
There’s no getting around it now: “The new statement, which has not previously been reported, shows Qatar paid for the four-day visit to Doha that overlapped with the U.S. men’s team’s opening match against Wales. Both ‘food’ and ‘lodging’ were covered by the Gulf nation, the disclosure indicates.” What’s more, “the Qatari Embassy in Washington, D.C., confirmed it had paid for Omar’s visit to the Gulf kingdom last year.” A Qatari spokesperson admitted that Omar “accepted an invitation from the Embassy of Qatar to attend events in Doha in November 2022.”
As bad as this looks, it was all legal. Omar’s trip was “part of a program authorized under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act,” which “allows House members to take trips funded by foreign governments provided that the travel is later disclosed in their annual financial statements.” That’s swell, but Jewish Insider also points out that in contrast to her vociferous criticism of Israel, Omar “has been comparatively muted when it comes to raising concerns about Qatar itself,” despite (or because of?) its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.
And it isn’t just Qatar. Omar “also traveled to Pakistan, where she made a controversial visit to a disputed part of Kashmir that drew criticism from India. The six-day trip, which took place in April 2022, was funded by Pakistan’s government, according to her financial disclosure.” As Daniel Greenfield has reminded us, “the Pakistani government had harbored Osama bin Laden in one of its military towns,” and as always in such cases, it gets worse: “During her visit, Omar met with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif who had initiated negotiations with Al Qaeda and offered to ‘reestablish normal relations as long as they do not conduct operations in Punjab.’ Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States had claimed that Osama bin Laden had backed Sharif’s brother. Rep. Omar also met with former Prime Minister Imran Khan, nicknamed ‘Taliban Khan,’ who had referred to Bin Laden as a ‘martyr.’”
And so the question must be asked, although none of our woke and compromised “journalists” will ask it: what are Qatar and Pakistan getting for their money? Having received funding from two of the foremost exponents of the global jihad, is Ilhan Omar now representing the interests of that jihad in the Congress of the United States? Is she working for entities that seek the destruction of the nation she is supposed to be representing? If any other U.S. representative had received money from entities that were demonstrably hostile to the nation, there would have been an investigation, with the recipient facing expulsion from Congress. Why not in Omar’s case?
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons