Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who has an extensive history of making anti-Semitic remarks, tried to downplay her promotion of false claims from the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry this week after it claimed that Israel bombed a hospital inside Gaza, killing over 500 people.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released evidence showing that the explosion was not caused by an aerial bomb and did not even strike the hospital — it exploded in a parking lot. It also released intercepted communications from Hamas terrorists in which they said the explosion was caused by a rocket fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
U.S. Intelligence later confirmed that it had “satellite and other infrared data showing a launch of a rocket or missile from Palestinian fighter positions within Gaza,” according to a report from The New York Times.
Omar (D-MN) promoted the false claims on X to her nearly 3 million followers. “Bombing a hospital is among the gravest of war crimes,” she wrote. “The IDF reportedly blowing up one of the few places the injured and wounded can seek medical treatment and shelter during a war is horrific. @POTUS needs to push for an immediate ceasefire to end this slaughter.”
Omar promoted a post from the Associated Press that stated: “BREAKING: The Gaza Health Ministry says at least 500 people killed in an explosion at a hospital that it says was caused by an Israeli airstrike.”
After facing intense backlash over her false claims, Omar sought to make it appear as though she was walking back her statement by suggesting that she may not have even written the post on her personal account and seeking to blame the Associated Press.
“Our office cited an AP report yesterday that the IDF had hit a Baptist hospital in Gaza,” she wrote. “Since then, the IDF denied responsibility and the US intelligence assessment is that this was not done by Israel.”
“It is a reminder that information is often unreliable and disputed in the fog of war (especially on Twitter where misinformation is rampant),” she continued. “We all have a responsibility to ensure information we are sharing is from credible sources and to acknowledge as new reports come in.”
She did not retract her claims, delete them, or offer an apology, instead she said that there needed to be a “fully independent investigation to determine conclusively who is responsible for this war crime.”
Omar faced backlash to her attempt to downplay her claims as various users pointed out that she had no problem rushing to demonize Israel, but the moment the facts proved that the group she was defending was responsible, she then wanted everyone to slow down and not spread “misinformation.”
Look in a mirror.
You are the misinformation.
Now look again.
You promoted Hamas terrorist propaganda.
— Geoffrey Miller (@primalpoly) October 19, 2023
YOU are the source of misinformation.
Your vile anti-semitism and hate have clouded your judgment, making me question your ability to perform your elected duties. https://t.co/1C0WrWYMKT
— Nicole Saphier, MD (@NBSaphierMD) October 19, 2023