Politics Pelosi seeks to quell uproar over Omar's latest comments
AOC rips into fellow Democrats for taking Ilhan Omar's comments on the US and Israel's potential war crimes out of context
Omar, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, has repeatedly had her comments on foreign affairs taken out of context by other lawmakers."Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus," Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. "They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.
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.”
Hamas 'Deplores' Rep. Ilhan Omar's Comparison of U.S., Israel to Their Mission
"We deplore this unfair combination that is contrary to justice and international law," the Hamas website stated.Hamas on Friday, while praising Omar's stance in "defending justice," chastised her for comparing their group to the U.S. and Israel.
“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.
Jewish lawmakers criticized Omar, D-Minn., for the tweet she posted Monday showing a video of her questioning Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about how domestic courts can handle war crimes. Accompanying the clip, Omar added a message that read, “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. I asked [Blinken] where people are supposed to go for justice.”
A group of legislators led by Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., released a statement late Wednesday condemning Omar’s tweet, writing, “Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided. Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.”
Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias
House progressives rallied behind Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday as she sought to clarify that her discussion of alleged international human rights abuses wasn't drawing false equivalence between the U.S. and terrorist groups, with some arguing that she is being held to a racist double standard.Omar and others went on to accuse the group of 12 Jewish House Democrats and vocal supporters of Israel who issued a statement asking her to "Omar and others went on to accuse the group of 12 Jewish House Democrats and vocal supporters of Israel who issued a statement asking her to "clarify" her comments of unfairly targeting her out of inherent anti-Muslim and racial bias.
In response, Omar initially blasted her fellow Democrats.
“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,” Omaron Wednesday. “The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”
On Thursday afternoon, however, Omar released a statement offering the clarification.
"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,” she wrote. “I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems."
With a number of key votes that will require a unified Democratic caucus, the statement from Pelosi appeared designed to strike a delicate balance of condemning the likening of Israel to terrorist groups while accepting Omar’s clarification.
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.
Omar, a Somali refugee and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, has battled with pro-Israel members of Congress and Democratic leadership since taking office. In 2019, Omar apologizedabout the pro-Israel lobby American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
While most Democrats stayed quiet on Omar’s latest remarks, she received backing from other progressives who have been more outspoken in their criticism of Israeli policy toward Palestinians.
“I am tired of colleagues (both D+R) demonizing [Omar],” tweeted Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who is of Palestinian descent. “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.”
“Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of [Omar] coming from our caucus,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. “They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.”
Pelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement
With a rare joint statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her entire leadership team on Thursday sought to quell a growing controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar's remarks equating war crimes committed by the U.S. and Israel to those by the Taliban and Hamas terrorist groups. The joint statement by Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Vice Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) came after Omar responded to a request from a dozen Jewish House Democrats to "clarify" what she meant in her original remarks.
Ahead of Pelosi’s statement, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tried to ramp up pressure on the speaker to take action against Omar.
“Rep. Omar”s anti-Semitic & anti-American comments are abhorrent,” McCarthy tweeted. “Speaker Pelosi’s continued failure to address the issues in her caucus sends a message to the world that Democrats are tolerant of anti-Semitism and sympathizing with terrorists. It’s time for the Speaker to act.”
Israel has faced increased scrutiny in Washington after weeks of military clashes between Israel and Hamas earlier this year that killed more than 200 Palestinian residents of Gaza and at least 12 Israelis. Omar, Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez were among the Democrats supporting a resolution
Read more from Yahoo News:
Rep. IIhan Omar accuses her Democratic colleagues of 'harassment' and invoking 'Islamophobic tropes' about her comments on US opposition to war crimes investigations .
Omar says her fellow Democrats took her remarks about potential International Criminal Court investigations involving multiple parties out of context.A group of 12 fellow House Democrats put out a statement condemning remarks Omar made in an exchange with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during a Monday congressional hearing.