TEL AVIV — Rep. Ilhan Omar compared Israel with Saudi Arabia in an interview Sunday, saying both countries used money to influence the Trump administration and that as a result Israel’s “destructive policies” were being “rubber stamped” by the U.S.
Pointing to close ties the U.S. has with both the Jewish state and the Gulf state, Omar told the Sunday Times, “We know the amount of money and influence and connection that the Saudis have with the administration is really the reason that everything destructive they do is nullified. And that really is no different to what’s happening with Israel.”
“There’s an alarming connection to the really destructive policies Israel is proposing and how much of it is being rubber stamped by this administration,” she added. “And how much of it is being urged by Americans who have connection and influence with this administration.”
It was perhaps lost on Omar that Israel and the U.S. share the same democratic values.
The story noted Omar’s “new approach is to pivot to Saudi Arabia so she isn’t singling out the Jews.”
Omar said she had “moved past” last year’s scandal in which she made antisemitic references to pro-Israel lawmakers. But she continued with the rationalization that she condemns the Saudis, who are Muslim, and is not accused of Islamophobia.
“My expression of those things was hurtful to people, that has really broken my heart,” she said. “I talk about Saudi blood money and them being bloodsuckers and no one says ‘This is Islamophobic,’ but I know if I use those terms for another country, that could be [a problem]. And so you learn what history is tied to words. As someone who didn’t have an understanding, I now do.”
The interview came ahead of the publication of her book This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman.