Rep. Ilhan Omar lashed out at a dozen of her colleagues, Thursday, slamming a statement made by a dozen Jewish Democrats criticizing comments Omar made on Twitter that appeared to accuse the United States and Israel of “crimes against humanity” and compare the two democratic nations to terrorist groups, Hamas and the Taliban.
As The Daily Wire reported earlier Thursday, the Jewish Democrats’ statement took issue with Omar’s words and demanded Omar clarify whether she believes that the United States and Israel are morally equivalent to designated terror groups.
“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,” The Daily Wire noted.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the group, led by Rep. Schneider, 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.”
Omar issued a clarification on Thursday, claiming that her words were taken out of context; she was asking Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about pending cases before the International Criminal Court, she said.
“On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about ongoing International Criminal Court investigations,” Omar wrote in a statement. “To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel. I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
Omar’s explanation does not fully explain her initial statements, but before her Jewish Democrat colleagues could respond, Omar issued a second statement, accusing the group of using “Islamophobic tropes” and of “constant harassment.”
“It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for ‘clarification’ and not just call,” Omar tweeted, suggesting that none of the signatories contacted her personally. “The Islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment and silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”
The term “Islamophobic tropes” appears to be a reference to a 2019 incident in which Omar was accused of using “anti-Semitic tropes” that she claimed not to recognize as anti-Jewish. Omar was forced to apologize.
Omar went on in Thursday’s statement: “Citing an open case against Israel, U.S., Hamas, and Taliban in the ICC isn’t comparison or from ‘deeply seated prejudice.’ You might try to undermine these investigations or deny justice to their victims, but history has taught us that the truth can’t be hidden or silenced forever.”
Omar followed up on her response statement by generally accusing her critics of fomenting Islamophobic violence, and shared a clip of a death threat she says she received as a result of criticism — a threat she claimed was “incited directly by [articles and far-right politicians] and enabled by a political culture – in both parties – that allows and often fuels Islamophobia.”
Other members of the “Squad,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also weighed in, slamming the same group of Jewish Democrats.
Tlaib said on Twitter that the group’s “obsession with policing [Omar] is sick. She has the courage to call out human rights abuses no matter who is responsible. That’s better than colleagues who look away if it serves their politics.” Ocasio-Cortez claimed she was “pretty sick and tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of [Omar] coming from our caucus.” “[T]hey have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations and leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.”