Ilhan Omar defends ‘offensive’ Israel remark

Ilhan Omar defends 'offensive' Israel remark
Ilhan Omar. Source: GETTY IMAGES
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Daily US Times: US congresswoman Ilhan Omar has hit back after a rare rebuke from Democratic colleagues over her remarks seeming to liken the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.

A dozen Jewish lawmakers called on the congresswoman to “clarify her words”, but the Minnesota representative slammed the group’s “tropes”.

This is not the first time that Ilhan Omar’s criticism of Israel put her at odds with members of her own party.

She apologised in 2019 for implying money was behind support for Israel.

Ms Omar, a Somali-born former refugee who is one of the first Muslims elected to Congress, tweeted on Monday that “we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban”.

She wrote: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.” He tweet includes a video of her questioning Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a committee hearing in the House of Representatives.

The row comes only weeks after hostilities between Israel and Hamal in the Middle East ended in ceasefire and amid rising reports of anti-Semitic attacks against American Jews.

But Ms Omar’s mention of militant Islamist groups Hamas and the Taliban in the same breath as Israel and the US rankled some of her fellow Democrats.

The group, led by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, in a statement on Wednesday: “Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided.”

“False equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups,” the statement added.

Early on Thursday, Ilhan Omar hit back at the group calling them “shameful” and accusing them of engaging in “islamophobic tropes”.

She tweeted: “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.”

She added: “The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”

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