US/World News

Ilhan Omar easily defeats challenger billed as a friend of Israel

(JTA) — Rep. Ilhan Omar, the congresswoman who has been criticized for comments on Jewish influence in politics and supporting the boycott Israel movement, has won her primary against a progressive rival who received support from pro-Israel groups. Antone Melton-Meaux conceded on Tuesday night, August 11, with results showing Omar well ahead. Her solidly Democratic district, which includes Minneapolis, practically ensures that she will serve another term in Congress.

Omar is one of only two current members in Congress who openly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The other is Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, a fellow member of the progressive group of female lawmakers known as “The Squad,” who have been critical of Israel’s policies. Some see their influence as symbolic of the Democratic Party’s leftward shift on Israel. Omar has uttered several antisemitic tropes about money, Jews and political influence.

Melton-Meaux came out strongly in support of Israel and alleged that Omar did not have a sufficient relationship with the local Jewish community. Pro-Israel groups and donors poured money into the race in the hopes of unseating Omar.

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