A Dozen Jewish Democrats Call out Rep. Ilhan Omar for Comparing U.S. and Israel to Hamas Terrorists

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., participates in a panel during a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Clive, Iowa. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

A dozen Jewish Democrat House members are calling out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for her comparison of the United States and Israel to Hamas terrorists.

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) led the coalition that includes Reps. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Elaine Luria (D-VA), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Kim Schrier (D-WA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and issued the following statement:

Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided. Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.

The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups. We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the U.S. and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban. 

Omar made the remarks while questioning Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a hearing and expanded on them on Twitter Monday:

NBC reported on the infighting, which has been a hallmark of Omar’s tenure in the House:

Omar posted a video on Twitter on Monday showing her speaking on a video call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” she wrote on Twitter, echoing her remarks on the video.

Omar responded to the group in a separate tweet early Thursday, calling it “shameful” that the group released a statement instead of speaking to her directly.

“The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive,” Omar wrote. “The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”

In another tweet, Omar defended her initial comment: “citing an open case against Israel, US, Hamas & Taliban in the [The International Criminal Court] isn’t comparison or from ‘deeply seated prejudice’. You might try to undermine these investigations or deny justice to their victims but history has thought us that the truth can’t be hidden or silenced forever.”

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