Fake News: Ilhan Omar Did NOT Say: 'If Israel Is So Innocent, Then Why Do They Insist On Being Jews?'

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Ilhan Omar Did NOT Say: 'If Israel Is So Innocent, Then Why Do They Insist On Being Jews?'

Did Representative Ilhan Omar ask why Israelis insist on being Jews if they are so innocent? No, that's not true: the quote was made up by a Christian satire website making fun of Omar's alleged antisemitism. But she never uttered the words attributed to her.

The story originated from an article published by The Babylon Bee on May 6, 2019 titled "Ilhan Omar: 'If Israel Is So Innocent, Then Why Do They Insist On Being Jews?'" (archived here) which opened:

WASHINGTON, D.C.--When Israel responded with airstrikes to over 600 rockets fired at them from Gaza, many defended this as a justified act of defense. Representative Ilhan Omar lashed out against this view, saying on Twitter about Israel, "If they're so innocent, why are they Jews?"

Omar pointed out how many in Israel continue in the extremely hostile act of being Jewish, provoking all of the people around them. "They want people to feel sorry for them," Omar said, "but they're just out there, every day, being Jews. It's almost like they're taunting everyone."

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Ilhan Omar: 'If Israel Is So Innocent, Then Why Do They Insist On Being Jews?'

WASHINGTON, D.C.--When Israel responded with airstrikes to over 600 rockets fired at them from Gaza, many defended this as a justified act of defense. Representative Ilhan Omar lashed out against this view, saying on Twitter about Israel, "If they're so innocent, why are they Jews?"Omar pointed out how many in Israel continue in the extr ...

The story was shared by several right-wing pages on Facebook with captions indicating they found it funny but many people commenting did not understand the story came from a satire website and thought she had really said it.

At one site copied the article verbatim while omitting the satire disclaimer and another site only copied the headline, making it seem like it was something copied from a legitimate news source.

But "The Babylon Bee" comes with following dislaimer on every page:

The Babylon Bee is Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.

We wrote about babylonbee.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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