Published: Sun, June 13, 2021
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Ilhan Omar: US congresswoman defends 'offensive' Israel remark

Ilhan Omar: US congresswoman defends 'offensive' Israel remark

Omar's response was followed by a rare joint statement issued by the entire Democratic House leadership which "welcome [d] her clarification ... that there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban".

"To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the USA and Israel", she wrote in a press release.

The latest confrontation between Omar, a Muslim-American born in Somalia, and fellow Democrats began when she tweeted a Monday exchange with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a video conference in which she called for justice "for all victims of crimes against humanity".

We appreciate Mrs. Ilhan Omar's stances in defending justice and the rights of the oppressed around the world, foremost of which are the just rights of our Palestinian people, but we deplore this unfair combination that is contrary to justice and worldwide law. The comparison of sovereign actors such as the U.S. and Israel and Hamas, which won an election, and the Afghan Taliban, which once ruled Afghanistan with limited recognition, may not be apt.

Jeremy Slevin, a spokesman for Omar, told The Washington Post that Omar tried to reach out to those Democrats who signed the joint statement but her calls were unreturned. "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban", it said. In 2019, she tweeted about the relationship between the US and Israel being "all about the Benjamins", an antisemitic trope.

"We write with a profound sense of concern in light of anti-American, anti-Semitic and bigoted statements made by our colleague, Representative Ilhan Omar", they wrote.

Some Jewish Democrats hesitated to make a statement.

"Legitimate criticism of the policies of both the United States and Israel is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate", they said in the statement. Many objected to her membership on the committee when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her the assignment as a freshman in 2019.

On Thursday, JNS reached out to the offices of each of the Jewish members included in Schneider's statement asking whether they think Omar should be removed from her committee appointment but received no response.

"I was in no way equating terrorist organisations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems". This is especially true since this is not the first time that she's made these types of remarks. "She is a liability to the committee, and she's a liability to the United States of America".

Omar tweeted that the 12 Democrats who criticized her should have spoken with her rather than putting out the statement. Throughout these decades, they remained steadfast, fighting for their freedom and independence, given all opportunities, showed a lot of flexibility, and paid very high prices to achieve these rights by peaceful means. Even the Middle East is more than Israel and the Palestinians.

Our people under occupation enjoy their inherent right to resist the occupation by all available means, including armed resistance, and here we remember the famous saying of the worldwide activist Nelson Mandela: "It is always the oppressor, not the oppressed, who dictates the form of the struggle", what our people have done over the years The past, and what we are doing now, is a legitimate and guaranteed right. As for Israel's conduct, on countless occasions Tel Aviv's brutal onslaughts against the Palestinians have been described by experts as falling within the definition of war crimes.

McCarthy has resisted Democrats' calls to punish Marjorie Taylor Greene, who last month compared Pelosi's requirement that lawmakers wear masks in the House chamber to Nazis requiring Jews to wear yellow stars during the Holocaust.

I know you oppose the Court's investigation in both Palestine and in Afghanistan. "You got to do and say really, really despicable [stuff]".

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