Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said she does not regret comments she made comparing the actions of the U.S. and Israel to terror attacks committed by Hamas and the Taliban.
Omar appeared Tuesday on CNN and told host Jake Tapper that she doesn’t regret her June 7 comments, and asserted that her comments should be viewed in context of the “point” she was “trying to make.”
Tapper stated: “Ultimately, Democratic leaders said that equating the U.S. and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban ‘foments prejudice,’ and, as you know, a group of Jewish House Democrats wrote a letter to President [Joe] Biden saying that accusing Israel of acts of terror—as you and other members of the squad have done – is anti-semitic. Do you regret these comments?”
“I don’t,” Omar replied. She then cited cases sitting in front of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is investigating both the U.S. and Israel for allegedly committing war crimes in Afghanistan and the Gaza Strip, respectively.
“I think it’s really important to think back to the point that I was trying to make. Obviously, I was addressing Secretary of State [Antony] Blinken. The cases are put together in front of the ICC. The ICC has been investigating,” Omar said. “I know that, you know, some of my colleagues don’t lend legitimacy to the ICC but I tend to think that people around the world who have experienced injustice need to be able to have a place where they can go, and as a country that helped found the ICC and supported it, I think that it is really important for us to continue to find ways in which people can find justice around the world.”
Jake Tapper asks Rep. Ilhan Omar if she regrets her comments comparing the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban:
"I don't" pic.twitter.com/iDOvgSIvXI
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 29, 2021
The U.S. does not recognize the ICC as a legitimate court and does not give any legal weight to its findings or rulings. The Biden administration opposes both of the ongoing ICC investigations into the United States and Israel. The U.S. had sanctions placed on two senior officials in the ICC until Biden lifted them earlier this year.
On June 7, Omar tweeted out a video of her questioning Blinken on the ICC investigations.
“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” Omar said in the caption. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”
After receiving bipartisan backlash, Omar put out a statement days later saying that she was not attempting to draw a “moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.” Omar said she was only speaking of “ongoing International Criminal Court investigations,”
The message had created an uproar in Congress as Omar’s fellow Democrats issued rare condemnations against one of their own. Republicans in the House attempted to strip Omar of her spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
A dozens House Democrats ripped Omar in a statement, saying, “Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided. 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,” the statement continued. “We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the U.S. and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”
Related: Kevin McCarthy Promises To Strip Ilhan Omar Of Committee Spot Over ‘Antisemitic, Anti-American’ Statements