Democrat Ilhan Omar Suggests Israel Not a Democracy Because of ‘Jewish State’ Law

Ilhan Omar (Alex Wong / Getty)
Alex Wong / Getty

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) told an interviewer Tuesday that she “almost chuckle[s]” at the idea that Israel is a democracy because it is a “Jewish state.”

Omar, who has a long history of anti-Israel rhetoric, was speaking with Zainab Salbi of Yahoo! News.

She argued that U.S. foreign policy was biased toward Israel over the Palestinians, saying that it had “always been aggravating to me” that “we have had a policy that makes one superior to the other, and we mask it with a conversation that’s about justice, and a two-state solution, when you have policies that clearly prioritize one over the other.”

Omar did not note the long history of Palestinian terrorism, including against Americans, and the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to stop payments to terrorists and their families, which has resulted in an end to U.S. aid.

Pressed to elaborate on her views, Omar mentioned Israel’s new “Jewish state” law, which she claimed “does not recognize the other religions that are living in it.”

As Breitbart News columnist Caroline Glick has explained, the new law “is an aggregation of previously passed laws and statutes. It defines Israel as the Jewish nation state, which it has been since its founding.” Members of all faiths continue to enjoy religious freedom in Israel.

Omar went on to compare Israel to Iran, a theocracy that is one of the world’s most repressive regimes, saying that the U.S. should “call out” Israel for its supposedly similar democratic lapses.

Democratic Party leaders have insisted this week that Omar and fellow first-year left-wing Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are not antisemitic, despite statements by both that evoke Jewish stereotypes.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi named Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee earlier this month.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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