Politics Ilhan Omar calls out fellow Democrats for criticizing her as new controversy flares
'Offensive': House lawmakers rebuke fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar for equating US, Israel with Hamas, Taliban
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, has been a controversial figure since being elected in 2018. Then-President Donald Trump routinely attacked her and other members of "The Squad," women of color in Congress who advocate more progressive social policies. She also drew fire from Republicans in 2019 over her comments about 9/11 that critics said minimized the terrorist attack that killed thousands of Americans in 2001. Democrats came to her defense then, arguing Omar's remarks were taken out of context.
Rep. Ilhan Omar is forcefully denouncing "harassment & silencing" from her own Democratic colleagues after a dozen of them issued a late-night statement criticizing her for comparing war crimes committed by the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
In a tweet early Thursday morning, the Minnesota Democrat called her fellow House Democrats’ reaction “shameful” and said the group of critics failed to call her before releasing their statement. One person close to Omar said she — one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress — had tried to contact several of the Democrats involved in drafting the statement before its release but was unable to reach them.
Jewish Democrats confront Ilhan Omar for giving 'cover to terrorist groups'
Ilhan Omar and a group of Jewish Democrats are waging a public battle sparked by her apparent comparison of the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, with those scolding her saying she gave “cover to terrorist groups” and Omar accusing her colleagues of using “islamophobic tropes.” © Provided by Washington Examiner The incident shows that while Republicans offer the most frequent criticism of Omar, she also frustrates those within her own party. A group of 12 Jewish Democrats led by Rep.
“The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable,” Omar tweeted, calling out what she described as “Islamophohobic tropes” in their statement. “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.”
The internal dispute over Omar's comments on U.S. foreign policy comes more than two years after she faced public pushback from both parties over comments seen as antisemitic. The House GOP raced Thursday to turn the dozen Democrats' statement into a political weapon against Omar, with leaders likely to plot floor action on the chamber floor next week. But unlike in 2019, Omar's latest remarks have drawn no specific complaints of antisemitism from fellow Democrats.
We don't need Ilhan Omar to 'clarify' her typically anti-Semitic, anti-American comments
House Democrats have asked Rep. Ilhan Omar to “clarify” her recent comments comparing Israel and the U.S. to Hamas and the Taliban. What a laugh — they must have missed the last few years of Omar's antics, through which she has made her views abundantly clear. © Provided by Washington Examiner Omar started this debacle by saying that “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.
Rather, her Democratic colleagues took issue with her "false equivalencies" between the U.S. and Israel on one hand, and Hamas and the Taliban on the other. The criticalfrom 12 Democrats, led by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), rebukes Omar’s comments during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Monday, when she asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about a International Criminal Court probe of allegations against both the Taliban and the U.S. in Afghanistan and by Hamas and Israel in their own recent Middle East conflict.
Omar later shared the exchange in a: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.”
The comments spurred a fierce debate among many Jewish Democrats, several of whom have previously taken issue with Omar’s remarks that they described as anti-Semitic. Out of several dozen Democrats who took part in discussions this week, 12 lawmakers signed the statement. Those discussions were first.
Pelosi seeks to quell uproar over Omar's latest comments
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she welcomed a clarification from Rep. Ilhan Omar over a tweet about Israel that critics on both sides of the aisle said had unfairly compared the U.S. and Israel to terrorist groups. In a written statement, Pelosi, D-Calif., said that “drawing false equivalences between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines 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,” Pelosi continued.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the 12 Democrats wrote in the statement, adding that “false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups.”
A spokesperson for Schneider said Omar did not attempt to call him, and doesn't know about attempts to reach other members. The spokesperson also confirmed that Democrats signing the statement do not call her actions antisemitic.
Several House Republicans publicly condemned Omar’s comments earlier this week, with many in the party eager to tear open the growing Democratic schism over her views on foreign policy. GOP leaders could pursue as a resolution to censure her or remove her from committees when lawmakers return to Washington next week.
The GOP’s campaign arm also said in a statement Thursday that Democrats should strip Omar of her committees — as Democrats did this year to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after a series of incendiary comments and actions by the controversial Georgia Republican, including endorsing the assassination of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
McCarthy says Pelosi's failure to address 'abhorrent' Omar controversy shows 'Democrats are tolerant of anti-Semitism'
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's failure to address the controversy surrounding Rep. Ilhan Omar shows "Democrats are tolerant of anti-Semitism and sympathizing with terrorists."“It’s time for the Speaker to act,” McCarthy tweeted Thursday, calling comments Omar recently made “anti-Semitic & anti-American” and “abhorrent.
Many Democrats, however, reject the comparison of Greene to Omar. And one of Omar's allies in the progressive alliance known as "the Squad" came to her defense Thursday morning.
"I am tired of colleagues (both D+R) demonizing" Omar, tweeted Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), elected alongside Omar in 2018 as Congress' first Muslim woman lawmakers. "Their obsession with policing her is sick. She has the courage to call out human rights abuses no matter who is responsible. That's better than colleagues who look away if it serves their politics."
On Wednesday night, Omar shared a sample of what she described as frequent threats she's received when she speaks on human rights issues,that included multiple racist and Islamophobic slurs directed at her.
This week is not the first time Democrats have faced aover Omar’s political speech. Shortly arriving in Congress, some of Omar’s comments sparked complaints of antisemitism and a raging debate over how Democrats should punish her through a resolution the floor. In one instance in 2019, Omar suggested that pro-Israel advocates had “allegiance” to Israel, which several Democrats said alluded to painful, decades-old discriminatory tropes of Jews who display “dual loyalties.”
Democratic leaders ultimately crafted a resolution condemning hate speech in all forms, indirectly rebuking Omar — a move thatwho wanted to condemn her directly.
Melanie Zanona contributed.
Kevin McCarthy won't let go of the GOP's smear campaign against Ilhan Omar, but Democrats have moved on .
McCarthy called for Omar's removal from the House Foreign Affairs committee, adding to the GOP's latest attacks on the Minnesota lawmaker.McCarthy urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to strip Omar from the committee based on what he described as "anti-Semitic" and "anti-American" language from the Minnesota lawmaker.