Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” after it demolished an illegal Bedouin settlement in a desert area in the West Bank last week.
Omar, who has a history of anti-Israel invective and sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the incident a “grave crime” and claimed that it violated U.S. law.
This a grave crime—in direct violation of international law. If they used any US equipment it also violates US law.
An entire community is now homeless and will likely experience lifelong trauma.
The United States of America should not be bankrolling ethnic cleansing. Anywhere. https://t.co/cdJgqS6Nwe
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 6, 2020
However, the Israeli government said that the settlement had been built illegally in an area designated by the military asa live-fire zone since 1972.
The Times of Israel noted:
Israel declared the area to be a live-fire zone in 1972, according to court filings. Humsa’s Bedouin residents appealed to the Israeli High Court to cancel their campsite’s impending demolition. In 2019, the court rejected the petition and ruled the herders had no right to stay in the area.
While Israeli military law forbids the expulsion of permanent residents from a firing zone, the High Court ruled that Khirbet Humsa’s residents did not meet that standard.
“The petitioners have no recognized property rights in these areas. These are intruders who use these areas for grazing,” the High Court said.
In their decision, the High Court said that the evacuation would also serve the personal safety of the residents, due to the army’s presence in the area. Moreover, “the construction in the area has not been authorized and is illegal,” the court ruled.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) slammed Omar’s comments: “Omar’s tweet engendered numerous anti-Israel retweets on twitter, spreading her antisemitic hatred and calling for action against Israel.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.