Congresswoman who tweeted that Israel “hypnotized the world” wins Democratic primary in Minnesota.
Melton-Meaux, who described himself as a pro-Israel progressive, made Omar’s comments on Israel a key part of his campaign.
Just a few days before the primary, a surprising op-ed appeared on the blogging platform Medium: a Jewish Omar supporter from her Minnesota district, Jeremy Iggers, not only said he was supporting Omar but explained why he thinks she is good for the Jews.
“… Jews are facing a second reckoning — questioning our cherished myths about Israel and coming to grips with its reality of racism and intolerance, the brutality of the occupation, and the profound corruption of its leaders,” he wrote. “By taking on the Israel lobby, Ilhan Omar and Bernie [Sanders] and a few other brave souls have made possible a more honest conversation about Israel. That’s the part that is really good for the Jews — and also very difficult,”
But from most Jews, she has received criticism for antisemitic and anti-Israel remarks.
Upon the release of the race projections, the Republican Jewish Council released a statement saying it “deplores the loss by Antone Melton-Meaux in the Democratic primary in MN-5. While Melton-Meaux is a progressive Democrat and we disagree strongly with him on any number of issues, he would have been a welcome change from Rep. Ilhan Omar and her virulently anti-Israel and antisemitic positions.
The organization accused the Jewish Democratic Council of America of having failed its members “and our entire community by abdicating their role and staying silent about this primary, when they were in a position to speak with authority about antisemitism in the Democrat Party.”
Despite this, Omar still received considerable support from high profile members of the Democratic Party, including from Bernie Sanders, who she endorsed vocally during his presidential campaign. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also endorsed Omar, meaning that anyone providing resources to her opponent would have been working against the Democratic leadership, a potentially costly move.
She also enjoyed the support of the state’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, including her predecessor in the 5th District, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.
Omar and Tlaib made history as the first Muslim women to serve in Congress when they won in 2018. At the time, Omar received more votes in total than any new member of Congress and outperformed 428 congressional districts out of 435, according to an analysis from the congresswoman’s campaign team, which was reported on by CNN.
JTA contributed to this report.