For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Sonya E Meyerson-Knox, sonya@jvp.org, 929-290-0317

#IStandWithIlhan Campaign Defies Attempts to Silence Rep. Omar

Civil Rights icon, award-winning performer and Nobel laureate winner among hundreds in support of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

WASHINGTON - In just days, hundreds of celebrities and well-known progressive activist and academics declared their support for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, sending in photos to the #IStandWithIlhan social media campaign.

Civil Rights icon Professor Angela Davis, award-winning performer Harry Belafonte and Nobel laureate George P. Smith were early supporters of the campaign, launched by Jewish Voice for Peace on Wednesday.

Additional supporters include author and climate justice activist Naomi Klein, acclaimed academic Phyllis Bennis, the granddaughter of Clara Lemlich, leader of the NY shirtwaist strike of 1909, and Oscar-nominated director Lexi Alexander, as well as the Dream Defenders and the staff of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

In addition to the hundreds of personal photos and messages, Palestinian activists and supporters including actress Alia Shawkat, Noura Erakat and Remi Kanazi tweeted their support with an image of Ilhan Omar created by Palestinian art organization, Watan Palestine.

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 “The wide spectrum of support we’re seeing for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar indicates the growing number of people who will no longer be silenced in their criticism of Israel,” said JVP Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson. “Ilhan Omar’s defiance against the pro-Israel lobby and her defense of our Constitutional right to boycott make it it clear: It’s a new day in Congress.”  

Rep. Omar is the latest in a long line of outspoken defenders of Palestinian human rights to suffer attacks and a bad-faith smear campaign by right-wing politicians and mainstream Jewish establishment figures. Omar has apologized for a tweet in which she criticized the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC for behaving like any other powerful lobby, as some found it antisemitic. Although numerous members of the Republican leadership – as well as the President himself – have made antisemitic comments, shared antisemitic tropes on social media and elevated known antisemites to positions of authority, President Trump signaled Omar out and called for her resignation. We’re not buying it.

Omar supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, and Jewish Voice for Peace is proud to defend her. As the success of the #IStandWithIlhan campaign shows, Ilhan Omar  – and everyone who criticizes Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights – will not be silenced.

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Jewish Voice for Peace members are inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals.

JVP opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East.

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