If you were shocked when senior Democratic leaders rebuked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for equating so-called “crimes against humanity” by the United States and Israel to “unthinkable atrocities” by the Taliban and Hamas, well, don’t be… apparently it wasn’t a rebuke at all… at least, that’s what Nancy Pelosi is saying now.
“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 from 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.”
“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 to clarify her original statement. “I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
It wasn’t exactly the most convincing explanation, but Pelosi is now walking back Democrat leaders’ rebuke of Omar.
“We did not rebuke her. We thanked — acknowledged that she made a clarification,” Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash.
“Congresswoman Omar is a valued member of our caucus,” Pelosi added. “She asked her questions of the secretary of state. Nobody criticized those, about how people will be held accountable if we’re not going to the International Court of Justice. That was a very legitimate question. That was not of concern. Members did become concerned when the tweet that was put out equated the United States with the Taliban and Hamas.”
Ilhan Omar equated the U.S. and Israel with terrorist groups.
Nancy Pelosi says Omar “is a valued member of our caucus” and admits Democrats did not “rebuke her.”
Pelosi stands with anti-Semites. pic.twitter.com/RR0Qyk1NxC
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 13, 2021
Why the sudden reversal? Heck, I wouldn’t even call it a reversal. Pelosi seems to be practically fawning over Omar now, despite her comments and history of anti-Semitic and anti-American comments.
I think the answer is obvious. Pelosi is trying to avoid a civil war in the Democratic Party, and it looked like that’s what was about to happen, as “Squad” members quickly came out swinging to defend Omar.
“Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of [Rep. Ilhan Omar] coming from our caucus,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted after the Democrat leadership originally rebuked Omar. “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.”
“I’m not surprised when Republicans attack Black women for standing up for human rights. But when it’s Democrats, it’s especially hurtful,” Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) tweeted. “We’re your colleagues. Talk to us directly. Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.”
The Democratic leadership was absolutely right to call out Omar, but folded when members of the “Squad” attacked them. So, who’s really in charge of the party now? Nancy Pelosi or the Squad? Ilhan Omar absolutely deserved the rebuke she got, and Pelosi can’t even admit it was a rebuke.
If Pelosi thinks this walk-back is going to put this kerfluffle to bed, she is mistaken. According to Politico, “House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is considering introducing a privileged resolution to boot Omar off the Foreign Affairs Committee sometime this week.”