Last week, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) caused a stir by accusing the U.S. and Israel of crimes against humanity and apparently equating these two democratic countries with Hamas and the Taliban. In a brief moment of moral clarity, Democratic leaders (including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) joined with twelve Jewish Democrats in condemning this false equivalency. Omar later claimed she did not intend to make any “moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.”
Yet the Democratic leaders were far from alone in condemning Omar’s original statement. Hamas also released a statement on Friday. The terrorist organization didn’t appreciate the suggestion it might be as evil as the Great Satan.
“The recent statements of Mrs. Ilhan Omar, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, in which she equated the victim with the executioner, are very surprising, as she equated the resistance of the Palestinian people on the one hand, and the crimes of the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the American aggression in Afghanistan on the other,” Dr. Basem Naim, a spokesman for Hamas’ international relations office, said in a statement, which the Daily Caller translated from Arabic.
Hamas issued press release denouncing US Rep. Illhan Omar (@Ilhan) for equating the 'Palestinian resistance' to the 'crimes' of Israel & US invasion in Afghanistan. They appreciate her stance on justice, especially for Palestinians. But asks her to describe events 'accurately.' pic.twitter.com/gWO34xGQqx
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) June 11, 2021
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“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 of injustice and international law,” Naeem continued. “The Palestinian people have been living under the Zionist occupation for more than seven decades, during which they suffered a lot, and the most heinous crimes were committed against them.”
Naeem continued to present Israel as the aggressor and the United States as its oppressive accomplice.
However, the other side refused to comply with all international resolutions, and continued its arrogance and oppression of our people and threatening international stability and security, unfortunately with the full support and protection of successive U.S. administrations.
Accordingly, we look to Mrs. Ilhan Omar, and all defenders of Palestinian rights, to describe things correctly and accurately, because this is the most important starting point for laying the foundations for a just solution to this chronic conflict.
Omar has carried water for Hamas by demonizing Israel, but even the Palestinian terrorist organization took offense at her comments.
Omar claimed that she never intended to equate the U.S. and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban, but even Hamas rushed to condemn her statement, reading it in that manner. Omar did list “the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban” together as complicit of “unthinkable atrocities.”
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.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 7, 2021
She later clarified, “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. I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
Whatever Omar’s intentions, she suggested that Israel committed “unthinkable atrocities” in the recent conflict with Hamas, even though Hamas fired rockets first (some of which misfired, killing innocent Palestinians), Israel sent warnings before firing rockets (so that people could escape buildings before they blew up), and Israel tricked Hamas into attacking via a tunnel system, which ensured that Israel only killed enemy combatants. While Israel works hard to play by the rules of war, Hamas uses civilians as human shields.
While Hamas condemned Omar’s comments, the terrorist organization nevertheless praised her as an ally against Israel. Will this lead Omar to issue a formal denunciation of Hamas?
It remains to be seen whether the Democratic caucus will stand up to Omar again on these important issues.