Top Democratic leaders have rebuked one of their members over her comments apparently comparing the United States and Israel with terrorist groups.
Twenty-five Jewish Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives had raised concerns about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) during a meeting on Wednesday to discuss anti-Semitism. It was the second meeting of Jewish Democrats in recent weeks to address a spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. over Israel's war with Gaza last month.
The Minnesota congresswoman had ignited a political storm when she tweeted a message that included this statement: "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban."
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
Twelve Democrats officially denounced her tweet saying "equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided."
Omar responded by criticizing her colleagues, accusing them of using "Islamic tropes".
Some left-wing colleagues supported her.
But Thursday she backed away, saying, "I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems."
Even so, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other five top House Democrats issued a statement saying they disapproved of Omar's original remarks.
Republicans have criticized Democrats for not singling out Omar in the past. Omar is a harsh critic of Israel and has been accused of repeatedly making anti-Semitic statements.
In 2012, the Somali-born congresswoman tweeted, "Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel."
In 2019, she appeared on a news program and accused Israel of not being a real democracy because it is a Jewish State. She also wrote that U.S. support for Israel was "all about the Benjamins baby" and implied that Jewish organizations like AIPAC have bribed American lawmakers.
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