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World Ilhan Omar may face censure for words on Israeli war acts

21:56  15 june  2021
21:56  15 june  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

Ilhan Omar says America, like Hamas and the Taliban, has committed 'unthinkable atrocities'

  Ilhan Omar says America, like Hamas and the Taliban, has committed 'unthinkable atrocities' Omar posted the tweet on Monday, which said that the U.S. needed to “have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.”Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., on Monday appeared to place America in the same category as the Taliban and Hamas, saying the U.S., Israel and the terrorist groups have all committed "unthinkable atrocities.

Republicans in the United States House of Representatives are looking to exploit a divide among Democrats over support for Israel following controversial comments last week by Representative Ilhan Omar, one of the three Muslim members of Congress.

Ilhan Omar wearing a hat: Representative Ilhan Omar is being targeted by Republicans with a censure resolution [Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters] © Provided by Al Jazeera Representative Ilhan Omar is being targeted by Republicans with a censure resolution [Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters]

Three rank-and-file Republican members of the US House filed a resolution on June 14 seeking to censure Omar and her progressive political allies: members of “The Squad”, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

'Squad' reps rally to defense of Ilhan Omar after fellow Dems lambaste her over Israel comments

  'Squad' reps rally to defense of Ilhan Omar after fellow Dems lambaste her over Israel comments Members of the far-left "Squad" in the House of Representatives are rallying to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar after a group of 11 other House Democrats leveled harsh criticism against Omar over comments from earlier this week that appeared compare the U.S. and Israel to terrorists. "Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted. "They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to members of Congress openly defending terrorist attacks by Hamas against our close ally Israel nor their dangerous rhetoric which has contributed to anti-Semitic attacks across the country,” Republican Mike Waltz said in a statement announcing the introduction of the resolution.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was reportedly set to bring the issue before a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference on Tuesday.

“We are seeing this big fight within the Democratic Party right now over anti-Semites and whether they’re going to stand up and confront this problem,” Steve Scalise, a top House Republican leader said on Tuesday.

The move by Republicans follows the opening of a divide among Democratic legislators over Israel’s 11-day bombardment of Gaza in May that killed 256 Palestinians.

Top Dems rebuke Ilhan Omar for US, Israel comparison to terrorist groups: 'no moral equivalency'

  Top Dems rebuke Ilhan Omar for US, Israel comparison to terrorist groups: 'no moral equivalency' Senior Democratic leadership issued a unified statement Thursday, denouncing comments made by Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar when she compared U.S. and Israeli war crimes to actions by the Taliban and Hamas. The statement was part of an internecine war of words within the Democratic Party, with some leftist members of the caucus supporting Omar against attacks by the leadership. Omar issued a statement Thursday clarifying her comments after she was met with a flood of criticism from not only Republicans on the Hill, but from members of her own party.

In a House committee hearing with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Omar had asked about the US opposition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) inquiries into alleged war crimes by the US, Israel, Hamas, the Afghan government and the Taliban.

If the US opposes war crime investigations at the ICC, a standing body based in The Hague, where should victims of atrocities go to seek justice? Omar had asked. Blinken responded that courts in the US and Israel already provide adequate judicial forums for such claims.

Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the ICC, announced in March she had launched a formal inquiry into alleged crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel and the US oppose the inquiry.

The ICC is also probing alleged war crimes by the US in Afghanistan.

The congresswoman later tweeted about her question to Blinken listing the US, Israel, Hamas, Afghanistan and the Taliban as all having committed atrocities.

Have the Democrats Finally Had It With Ilhan Omar? | Opinion

  Have the Democrats Finally Had It With Ilhan Omar? | Opinion It appears that Omar's instigations may have finally gone too far for the establishment to ignore. And this is new. Over the years, Omar has had several close encounters with accountability. On multiple occasions, she has even been called out by members of her own party for her anti-American and antisemitic statements.

The tweet sparked outrage from some of her own Democratic colleagues who objected to Omar comparing the US and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas and howls of “anti-Semitism” from the Republican right.

“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” a group of 11 Jewish Democrats said in a statement two days after Omar posed her question to Blinken.

“She’s just not anti-Semitic, she’s anti-American now,” McCarthy, the House Republican leader, said on Fox News on Tuesday. “She’s equating America to the Taliban, to Hamas. She’s discrediting our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel, the only democracy.”

Democratic leaders in the House last week had sought to quell the furore within their own party over Omar’s words and she offered a clarification that she was not drawing a moral equivalency between the US, Israel and non-state groups like Hamas and the Taliban.

“Congresswoman Omar is a valued member of our caucus,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democratic leader, said on CNN on Sunday.

Moderate Dems 'frustrated' by Omar's 'unacceptable' Israel comments, want to move on

  Moderate Dems 'frustrated' by Omar's 'unacceptable' Israel comments, want to move on The moderate Democrats who condemned Rep. Ilhan Omar over her comments apparently comparing the United States and Israel to Hamas say they are happy she issued a clarification Thursday but still "frustrated" about her longer record of making allegedly anti-Semitic remarks. Reps. Jason Gottheimer, D-N.J., Elaine Luria, D-Va., and Brad Schneider, D-Ill., all signed onto the statement by a group of House Democrats saying comments from Omar, D-Minn., "equating the United States and Israel to Hamas… at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.

Omar’s question to Blinken “was very legitimate”, Pelosi said, but the subsequent tweet had raised concerns by equating the US with the Taliban and Hamas. “She clarified, we thanked her, end of subject.”

In a tweet, Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, pushed back against her leadership’s public scolding of Omar as “relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color”.

Censure tit-for-tat?

Meanwhile, some Democrats are threatening to pursue a censure resolution condemning words by Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene who three weeks ago equated requirements that people wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic to the repression of Jews during the Holocaust.

In a media conference on June 14, Greene apologised for the stance, acknowledging there was no comparison between mask-wearing requirements and Germany’s systematic killing of Jews during World War II.

“There’s no comparison and there never will be,” said Greene who had visited the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC, earlier in the day.

Greene, who was newly elected to the House in November, was stripped of her committee assignments by majority Democrats in February for comments seen to be supportive of violence against Democrats following the January 6 US Capitol riot.

Republicans introduce resolution to censure Omar, 'Squad' over Israel comments .
As Democrats are trying to quell internal tensions over remarks Rep. Ilhan Omar made last week apparently comparing the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, Republicans are re-upping their push to condemn Omar and her allies over comments about Israel. Leading the way are Reps. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., who are introducing a resolution to censure Omar, D-Minn., and her three closest allies in the "Squad." The resolution alleges that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

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This is interesting!