In February 2019, new Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) accused members of Congress of selling their votes to the Israel lobby saying “it’s all about the Benjamins.” While the comment was condemned by most members of Congress, her alt-left progressive comrades stood by her, including fellow female Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Woman’s March organizer Linda Sarsour, also a Muslim woman. Sarsour had loudly attacked Israel with comments like “there’s nothing creepier than Zionism,” while defending sharia law and the actions of Muslim countries.
Curiously, just one year before Omar’s antisemitic “Benjamins” smear, the Arab Muslim country of Jordan was busy selling off rights to citizenship for huge stacks of Benjamins.
On February 19, 2018, the parliament of Jordan passed the Jordanian Citizenship by Investment Programme (JIP), which proudly declared “High-net-worth individuals can now become Jordanian citizens!” (exclamation point NOT added). How sweet! Citizenship in Jordan is so coveted, they’ll sell it to anyone – as long as they have at least $1 million to fork over to Jordan.
Personally, I think a country can make whatever rules it wants about citizenship. I would likely value Jordanian citizenship at about a single dollar (Canadian), but that’s just me.
However, what’s beyond insulting is that thousands of people – specifically women and Palestinians just like Linda Sarsour – are DENIED citizenship in Jordan, and stripped of citizenship they once had.
In Jordan, a male-dominated society, citizenship is controlled by men. By law, only men can pass on citizenship to their wives and children; a woman cannot pass on citizenship to her children or spouse.
And rather than rectify the situation when making adjustments to citizenship laws, Jordan simply went for the Benjamins and didn’t offer a morsel to women. Many activists in Jordan were outraged. But not a peep from Omar, Tlaib or Sarsour.
Linda Sarsour, herself a child of Palestinians and a woman’s rights advocate, could not arch an eyebrow about the insulting practice of Jordan selling a right it won’t even extend to women in the country.
For Palestinians, the insult is particularly insulting. Those people living in the West Bank which Jordan illegally annexed in 1950, were given Jordanian citizenship in 1954 until Jordan revoked such citizenship on July 31, 1988. The Jordanians have since started removing the citizenship of thousands of other people of Palestinian origin living inside of Jordan. It’s almost as though Palestinians were transforming into Jews, who were specifically denied Jordanian citizenship in Article 3 of the 1954 Citizenship Law.
Neither the Palestinian part of her persona, nor her women’s warrior mantle could stir Sarsour to denounce the actions of the Jordanians. A country where only the wealthy can get citizenship while poor women worry over the fate and future of their own children.
When observing Omar, Tlaib and Sarsour, one can only sigh that “there’s nothing creepier than Muslim antisemitism dressed up as progressivism.”
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