The Israeli-Palestinian conflict triggered reactions in the United States from multiple representatives and senators. One of the most controversial pronouncements came from Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn), who accused Israel of perpetrating an “act of terrorism” against Palestine, after the Israelis attacked Gaza in retaliation for rockets launched by the Palestinian state at its capital Jerusalem.
“Israeli airstrikes killing civilians in Gaza are an act of terrorism,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar. “Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable not to condemn these attacks on the week of Eid.”
Following her controversial tweet, where she clearly accuses Israel of terrorism against Palestine, the representative was strongly criticized on Twitter by conservative voices who see Israel as a traditional ally of Washington.
“Why is a member of Congress acting as press secretary for Hamas?” asked Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who followed up with a second question, “Does Biden agree? [with Ilhan Omar’s accusation of ‘terrorism’ toward Israel].”
Likewise, Daily Wire editor emeritus Ben Shapiro quoted Rep. Ilhan Omar’s tweet and wrote: “Iron Dome was specifically built because of Palestinian rocket attacks against Israelis. Palestinians don’t need Iron Dome if Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PA stop engaging in terrorism against Israel.”
“As families & people of the Jewish faith are taking refuge in bomb shelters from a rain of missiles coming from Hamas, a member of Congress dares to call Israel’s defense of their citizens an act of terrorism,” Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL-19) wrote on Twitter.
Ilhan Omar’s tweet was not the only one in defense of Palestine
In addition to Congresswoman Omar, other members of the Socialist Squad, including Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass), also came out in defense of the Palestinian state.
“I was 7 years old when I first prayed at the Al Aqsa with my sity. It’s a sacred site for Muslims. This is equivalent to attacking the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, or the Temple Mount for Jews, Israel attacks it during Ramadan. Where’s the outrage @POTUS?” said Rashida Tlaib on Twitter, who is the first Palestinian-American woman elected to a congressional seat.
Israeli law enforcement forces entered the famed Muslim mosque following reports that thousands of Palestinians barricaded themselves the night before with rocks and Molotov cocktails at Al Aqsa waiting for the Jewish “Flag March,” which is held every May 10 in commemoration of Jerusalem Day.
In another tweet, Congresswoman Tlaib tagged Secretary of State Antony Blinken and charged that American money is being used to “violate human rights.”
“American taxpayer money is being used to commit human rights violations. Congress must condition the aid we send to Israel, and end it altogether if those conditions are not met. Statements aren’t working @SecBlinken. Enough is enough,” the representative wrote.
Prior to Omar and Tlaib’s statements, Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also spoke out about the court case between Jews seeking to evict 4 Palestinian families in the Shaikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem from their homes. Although the Supreme Court, which decided not to meet on Monday because of the riots, has yet to rule on the case, eviction is very likely.
“I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem who are being forcibly evicted from their homes, in the midst of pandemic, during Ramadan. This is unacceptable,” said Rep. Pressley.
“We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Israeli forces are forcing families from their homes during Ramadan and inflicting violence. It’s inhumane and the United States must show leadership in safeguarding the human rights of Palestinians.”
The Shaikh Jarrah eviction case is one of the main reasons for protest by Palestinians. Jerusalem has been experiencing weeks of violence and clashes. The situation was used by the Hamas terrorist group to threaten and attack Israel, which defended itself against attacks on its capital Jerusalem.