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In a response to outrage from fellow House Democrats over a tweet that mentioned “unthinkable atrocities” by the United States and Israel alongside Hamas and the Taliban, Ilhan Omar said that she did not equate “terrorist organizations with democratic countries.”
"On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about an ongoing International Criminal Court investigations,” the Minnesota congresswoman said in a statement on Thursday. “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."
But despite her clarification, House Democratic infighting over Omar’s apparent comparison of the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is escalating.
On Wednesday, a group of a dozen Jewish Democratic lawmakers released a statement asking Omar for “clarification” on her comments, saying that “false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups.”
A Monday tweet from Omar asserted: “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.” Included in the tweet was a video of Omar questioning Blinken about the prosecution of "alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Democratic leadership appeared satisfied by Omar's clarification. A rare joint statement from the entire leadership team, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, read: "Legitimate criticism of the policies of both the United States and Israel is protected by the values of free speech and Democratic debate. And indeed, such criticism is essential to the strength and health of our democracies. But drawing false equivalencies between democratic like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all. We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban."
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired off a tweet defending her fellow left-wing “Squad” member Omar, a Muslim Minnesota representative, in the wake of outrage from other Democrats.
“Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet. “They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.”
Meanwhile, it is not only Jewish Democrats taking issue with Omar. New York Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi issued a scathing statement that said that she "must be called out."
"The is the latest in a series of wrongheaded and inflammatory statements she has made against Israel and Jewish people which I strongly disagree with. She does not represent my values," Suozzi said. He added that he will "call out and condemn" colleagues on both sides who "contribute to ignorant and hateful behavior," noting his recent criticism of Rep. Marjorie Talyor Greene's "comments equating mask wearing mandates with Nazi regimes."
Other left-wing Squad members circled the wagons around Omar amid the backlash and Republican calls for Omar to be punished by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“I'm not surprised when Republicans attack Black women for standing up for human rights. But when it’s Democrats, it’s especially hurtful. We’re your colleagues. Talk to us directly,” tweeted Missouri Rep. Cori Bush. “Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.”
“I am tired of colleagues (both D+R) demonizing @IlhanMN. Their obsession with policing her is sick,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Omar asserted that “this is the kind of incitement and hate that leads to real violence,” sharing audio of a person hoping for her death.
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Original Author: Emily Brooks