This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Olivia Katbi Smith and Isi Breen. Olivia is co-chair of the Portland, Oregon chapter of the DSA, and Isi is the former press secretary for then-Congressman Keith Ellison, and current Communications Director for Jewish Community Action in Minnesota.
They join us for an in-depth discussion of the firestorm surrounding tweets on Israel and the pro-Israel lobbyist group AIPAC from newly-elected Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar. We explain the accusation of anti-Semitism Omar has been smeared with, and talk about the racist framing and bad faith nature of the accusations. Isi draws on his own experience dealing with bad faith accusations of antisemitism as press secretary for Keith Ellison, and stresses the importance of moral clarity on the subject of Palestine while also being mindful of the language we use from a tactical perspective. Olivia, who herself has been at the receiving end of a character assassination campaign due to her own Palestine advocacy, dives into the toll these kinds of smears take on someone. We talk about the importance of not engaging with bad faith accusations, often propagated by those with their own anti-Semitic records, and instead focusing on building solidarity across all communities with justice in mind.
Follow Olivia on twitter @livkittykat, and Isi @isaiah_kb. Find out more about the work Olivia is doing at @PortlandDSA, and learn more about the work Isi is doing over at @JCA_MN.
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