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Far-left Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar is under fire again from both Republicans and her own party after she posted a tweet where she appears to have equated the actions of terrorist groups like Hamas and the Taliban with that of democratic states like Israel and the U.S. The tweet in question was posted after Omar questioned Secretary Blinken on the issue of Human Rights protection around the globe.
In Omar’s tweet, she said that “we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban” saying that we should “have the same level of accountability for all victims of crimes against humanity”. Up to the writing of this article and despite all the backlash the tweet has sparked, the congresswoman has yet to delete the tweet.
Republican lawmakers immediately condemned the remarks of the young congresswoman from Minnesota, with the National Republican Congressional Committee criticizing the congresswoman over her tweet, with the official account of the campaigning arm of the GOP posting a tweet on Tuesday calling out Democrats for not immediately condemning the “anti-American” remarks of Omar.
The newly elected chair of the Republican Conference Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who won her post after Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) was deposed due to her ongoing feud with Trump, also called out the initial silence of the Democratic party over Omar comparing Hamas with the U.S, saying that “every Democrat must publicly condemn” the Minnesota congresswoman.
According to Politico, Republican lawmakers could be looking into introducing censure motion against Omar or one asking or the House to strip her of her committee assignment as soon as next week. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) has supported this line of action, saying that the Minnesota Representative “needs to be stripped of her committee assignments now”.
Ilhan Omar is under fire by her fellow Democrats as well
Omar’s commentaries, however, did not go unnoticed by all the Democratic congressional caucus, with the Jewish caucus of the Democratic Party issuing a statement where they said that “equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided” saying that while both democratic countries are imperfect and should be criticized at times, engaging in “false equivalences give cover to terrorist groups” and urged the Representative to clarify her words.
The congresswoman slammed her Democratic colleagues on a Twitter thread, calling their conduct “shameful” and saying that their statement condemning her offensive comments was offensive itself since it contained “islamophobic tropes” (albeit the statement only condemns Hamas and the Taliban and makes no mention of Islam itself) and said that the “harassment and silence” of her colleagues is “unbearable”.
She also said that asking Sec. Blinken about pending cases on the ICC including the U.S and Israel are not moral comparisons and that her (Democratic) colleagues might try to “undermine these investigations or deny justice to their victims” but that those attempts would ultimately prove to be unsuccessful.
Eventually, the congresswoman did release a short press release on her official website, although not in her Twitter accounts, saying that her questions about some “incidents” regarding ICC cases are “not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S and Israel”, she also said that she was in “no way” equating terrorist groups with “democratic countries with well-established judicial systems”.
The last part of that statement might have resulted curious for observers, as one of the countries that Omar is now accepting has a “well-established judicial system” and is “democratic” was condemned by the same congresswoman as an “apartheid Israeli regime” when she was running for Congress in 2018. So, either Rep. Omar has changed her mind or she believes that an apartheid state can be democratic at the same time.
Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership in the House followed the lead of the Jewish Caucus by issuing a joint statement where they said that while “legitimate criticism” of the polciies of both Israel and the U.S are “essential” for the “health of our democracies”, drawing up “false equivalences” between democratic regimes and terrorist organizations only “foments prejudice”.
Democrats also commended Omar for the official clarification that there is no moral equivalence between terrorist organizations and the democratic governments of the U.S and Israel. The statement makes no mention, however, on the scathing accusations that Omar made against the Democratic lawmakers that condemned Omar’s remarks in the first time.
This is not the first time the representative has caused headaches for the Democratic leadership due to her views on foreign policy. She has previously been accused of antisemitism for saying that “Israel has hypnotized the world” before she reached Congress, and she was also the center of a controversy due to comments she made that Jewish advocates considered to be antisemitic.
Wether the Democratic leadership decides to impose a heavy punishment to one of the most recognizable member of “The Squad” or if they decide to push her offenses under the rug is up to Speaker Pelosi and the rest of the Congressional leadership. Either way, it is very likely that the Minnesota progressive will continue giving Speaker Pelosi more headaches during this congressional term.
Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.