House Democrats released a statement on Wednesday night condemning Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-NY) for comparing the United States and Israel to an Islamic terrorist organization. Only 12 Democrats condemned Omar, which is less than 6% of the total number of Democrats in the House of Representatives.
“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” Omar wrote on Twitter earlier this week. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”
Reps. Brad Schneider (IL), Jake Auchincloss (MA), Ted Deutch (FL), Lois Frankel (FL), Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Elaine Luria (VA), Kathy Manning (NC), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Dean Phillips (MN), Kim Schrier (WA), Brad Sherman (CA), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) slammed Omar in a statement.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” they wrote. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.”
“The United States and Israel are imperfect, and like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalence give cover to terrorist groups,” they continued. “We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the U.S. and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”
Included in Omar’s remarks on Twitter was a video that she posted of her questioning of Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a committee hearing this week:
OMAR: I know you oppose the court’s investigation in both Palestine and in Afghanistan. I haven’t seen any evidence in either cases that domestic courts can, both can and will prosecute alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. And I would emphasize that in Israel and Palestine, this includes crimes committed by both Israeli security forces, and Hamas. In Afghanistan, it includes crimes committed by the Afghan national government and the Taliban. So in both of these cases, if domestic courts can’t or won’t pursue justice, and we oppose the ICC, where do we think the victims of the supposed that crimes can go for justice? In both of these cases, if domestic courts can’t or won’t see justice, and we oppose the ICC, where do we think victims are supposed to go for justice? And what justice mechanisms do you support for them?
BLINKEN: Thank you. First, let me just say at the outset, that it is impossible not to be profoundly moved by not just the loss of life in the recent violence and conflict, but especially the children whose whose lives were lost. And we all have a, you know, tendency to throw statistics and numbers out there, but we were talking about boys and girls, Israelis and Palestinians, as well as men and women. And I think none of us for whatever, from whatever perspective, we come, can can lose sight of that. So that’s one thing that’s very important. Look, I, you know, our views on the ICC, and its its jurisdiction, we continue to believe that absent a Security Council referral, or absent the request by the state itself, that that’s not appropriate. I continue to believe that whether it is the United States or Israel, both of us have the means–
OMAR: Mr. Secretary, I do understand that point, I’m asking what mechanisms do [inaudible] is available to them?
BLINKEN: I believe that we have, whether it’s the United States or Israel, we both have the mechanisms to make sure that there’s accountability in any situations where there are concerns about the use of force and human rights, etc. I believe that both of our democracies have that capacity, and we’ve demonstrated it, and we’ll need to continue to demonstrate it going forward.
OMAR: And in the case of Afghanistan?
BLINKEN: With regard to Afghanistan, if it’s our objection, as you know, it was to the assertion of jurisdiction over the United States in the absence of a Security Council referral. And I believe that we have the means if there are any cases to be brought to, to adjudicate them and to find justice.
We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.
We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 7, 2021
This article has been updated to include additional information.