On Thursday, senior Democratic leaders issued a unified statement denouncing comments made by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) earlier this week when she equated so-called “crimes against humanity” by the United States and Israel to “unthinkable atrocities” by the Taliban and Hamas.
“Drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all,” read the statement by Nancy Pelosi and five other House Democrat leaders. “We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban.”
Twelve Jewish Democrats in the House had submitted a letter to Rep. Omar seeking clarification for her remarks Thursday afternoon, but it seems that Democrat leaders felt the backlash against Omar was too intense to remain silent.
Omar herself tried to “clarify” her comments in a statement.
“To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC (International Criminal Court) cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel,” Omar said. “I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
While House Democrat leaders rebuked Omar, the embattled congresswoman was defended by some radical left-wing members of the party.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) condemned the Democrat leadership for “intentional mischaracterization” of Omar’s comments.
“Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of [Rep. Ilhan Omar] coming from our caucus,” she tweeted. “They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.”
“Stop the bad faith attempts to take [Rep. Ilhan Omar’s] words out of context,” tweeted Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). “She called a simple question. The ICC exists to investigate and exact recourse when human rights are violated. Imagine if Congress was as outraged by what Palestinians endure daily.”
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) called on Democrat leaders to stop attacking Omar. “I’m not surprised when Republicans attack Black women for standing up for human rights. But when it’s Democrats, it’s especially hurtful,” Bush tweeted. “We’re your colleagues. Talk to us directly. Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.”
It’s nice to see the Democratic leadership speaking out against Omar’s radical and anti-Semitic remarks… even if it took a few days for them to do so. Omar has a history of making controversial comments that deserved condemnation from her party, such as her 2019 remark dismissing 9/11 as being when “some people did something.”