House Democrats Condemn Omar for Equating US and Israel With Hamas and Taliban

House Democrats Condemn Omar for Equating US and Israel With Hamas and Taliban

A group of House Democrats condemned Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) on Wednesday for equating the United States and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban, saying her false equivalency “give[s] cover to terrorist groups.”

“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the group of 12 representatives, led by Brad Schneider (Ill.), said in a statement. “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.” The lawmakers urged Omar to “clarify her words.”

Omar on Monday said “the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban” had committed “crimes against humanity,” equating the United States and Israel, two democracies, with the terrorist group that recently waged a deadly 11-day war on the Jewish state and the group that harbored terrorists responsible for 9/11. The congresswoman received harsh backlash for her remarks.

Pro-Israel and Jewish groups joined with the Democratic lawmakers on Thursday in condemning Omar.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America said it will meet with the congresswoman during its Week of Action “to discuss her recent comments on Israel, as well as other priorities of Jewish Dems in Minnesota.” And the American Israel Public Affairs Committee applauded the lawmakers for “rightly condemning this dangerous worldview and assault on democracy.”

“There is no moral equivalence between the American troops and Israeli soldiers who risk everything to protect their nations, and the terrorists who target them,” AIPAC said.

House Republicans called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and every House Democrat to condemn Omar for her remarks. Some have pushed for Omar’s removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Omar defended her remarks Thursday and said it was “shameful” and “offensive” for Democrats to go behind her back and put out the statement. She accused the lawmakers of using “islamophobic tropes” and of “constant harassment & silencing.”

“You might try to undermine these investigations or deny justice to their victims but history has thought us [sic] that the truth can’t be hidden or silenced forever,” she tweeted.

Omar also accused journalists and members of Congress of inciting death threats and perpetuating racist attacks against her for “speak[ing] out about human rights.”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) came to Omar’s defense, saying she was “tired” of members of Congress “demonizing” Omar for addressing “human rights abuses.”

“Their obsession with policing her is sick,” Tlaib said. “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.”

While Omar is often critical of the United States and Israel, in particular their law enforcement and militaries, she has not always spoken as forcefully about violence by terrorist groups. In 2019, she referred to the 9/11 terror attacks as “something” done by “some people.”

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