Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar delivers remarks at the Council of American-Islamic Relations of Greater Los Angeles’ fourth annual Valley Banquet in Woodland Hills, California. Listen carefully to her response.
More than 400 people protested against Rep. Ilhan Omar in Woodland Hills as the freshman Minnesota Congresswoman headlined a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) March 23 fundraiser at the Hilton Woodland Hills.
On Saturday afternoon, the Los Angeles Police Department closed down several blocks of Canoga Avenue for the protest, where protestors wore red Make American Great Again baseball caps and yellow Stars of David with the word “Jude” on them, carried American flags and Israeli flags, waved signs that called Omar an anti-Semite and chanted slogans that called for her to leave Congress.
“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Omar’s got to go!” protestors shouted.
Demonstrators carried signs that read “Remove Hate from our House;” “Your Hate Makes us Stronger,” “This is How it Started in Germany;” “No Sharia Law in America;” “Reject Ilhan’s Bigotry” and “Ilhan Omar is [sic] Pile of Human Waste.”
A giant banner stretching across the sidewalk read, “Islam Doesn’t CAIR for Free Speech,” with headshots of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, who was suspended for saying that Omar follows sharia law, and activist Laura Loomer, who has been “silenced on many platforms,” the banner said.
Members of San Fernando Valley Israeli community turned out, including David Zerbib, a bodyguard who was at the L.A. Fitness next door to the protest, heard the noise and decided to join.
“I heard about Ilhan Omar being in town…it’s an honor to be here among everyone else,” he said.
While some have said that Omar’s wearing of a hijab indicates that she wants sharia law in the United States, Zerbib said the problem was not with her head covering but with her rhetoric.
“Wearing a hijab doesn’t show hatred…if you believe in that do so…but wearing a hijab doesn’t give you the right to spew hatred the way she does,” Zerbib, who wore black workout clothes and an Israeli flag tied around him like a cape, said.
While there did not appear to be any arrests or instances of violence, the protest at times became ugly. As apparently-Muslim people in formal clothing walked into the hotel across the street, protestors shouted hateful remarks including “traitors” and “bastards.”
Leonard Furman, a retired Russian Jew from Porter Ranch, made his anger known in less confrontational ways. Furman was among the many protestors who wore a yellow Star of David on his shirt.
“I thought it would be very appropriate to have one and show who I am,” he said.
The rally against Omar was a grassroots effort that was publicized largely through social media, drawing not only Jews and Israelis but Christians, as well.
“As a Christian, it is the belief that it is my duty to stand behind Israel,” said Kira Innis, who wore a Make America Great Again hat. “[Israeli Prime Minister] Bibi Netanyahu is our ally and our friend. While the liberals have spent eight years under the last guy shivving him in the back, President Trump now has his back and Ilhan Omar would seek to undo the very key work that has been done by our president to help aid the Jewish people.”
“Down with the likes of Ilhan and up with the likes of Judge Jeanine,” Innis added, referencing the Fox News host whose show has not aired since she said this about Omar on March 9 in her opening: “Is her [Omar’s] adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”.
Furman said he was pleased to see that Omar concerns not only Jewish people but people of many backgrounds.
“I am glad people of different denominations, not only Jews came to express outrage,” he said.
This past February, Omar tweeted that American support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins baby.” Many said her comment reinforced that Jews control the world with money. She also denounced AIPAC as having too much influence on the U.S. government. And she said that her unwillingness to express loyalty to Israel was why many were upset with her, evoking the stereotype that Jews have dual loyalties.
CAIR-Los Angeles’s fourth annual “Valley Banquet” featured Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, as the keynote speaker.
CAIR, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit with chapters around the country, is one of the top 10 most anti-Israel groups of America, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which said CAIR has a “long record of anti-Israel rhetoric, which has, at times, crossed the line into anti-Semitism.”
Source: Ryan Torok/Jewish Journal.com