Rep. Omar's Remarks Cause Uproar Among Democrats

They accuse her of likening US, Israel to Taliban, Hamas
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2021 4:23 AM CDT
Omar Clashes With Colleagues Over 'Offensive' Remark
In this April 20, 2021 photo Rep. Ilhan Omar speaks in Brooklyn Center, Minn.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar defended herself Thursday after taking flak from members of her own party over a remark mentioning the US and Israel in the same breath as the Taliban and Hamas. "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban," Omar said in a Monday tweet calling for the "same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity." The tweet included video of a question she asked Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. A dozen Jewish Democrats issued a statement urging Omar to "clarify her comments," saying likening the US and Israel to extremist groups "is as offensive as it is misguided," the New York Times reports.

In a tweet Thursday, Omar accused her Democratic critics of using "Islamophobic tropes," the Guardian reports. "It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for “clarification” and not just call," wrote Omar. In a statement later Thursday, she said she had been referring to specific cases before the International Criminal Court, not trying to draw "a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel." "I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,” she said. The BBC notes that Omar's original remark is being compared to an early 2017 remark from Donald Trump. The then-president said that while he agreed that Vladimir Putin is a killer, "we've got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?" (More Ilhan Omar stories.)

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