On Tuesday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) not only said she did not regret comparing the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, but she also attacked her Jewish fellow Democrats, saying that they have failed to be her “partners in justice.” She claimed to have suffered more than descendants of Holocaust survivors, and the spokesman for a group of over 1,500 Orthodox Jewish rabbis exposed her hypocrisy.
Early this month, Omar declared, “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.” After facing backlash from Jewish Democrats and Democratic leadership (including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi), she aimed to “clarify” her remarks.
“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,” she said.
Twelve Jewish Democrats in Congress had urged Omar to clarify her remarks. “Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the Democrats wrote. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.”
On CNN on Tuesday, Jake Tapper asked Omar, “Do you regret these comments?
“I don’t,” Omar stated. “I think it’s really important to think back to the point that I was trying to make.”
Ilhan Omar: "I don't" regret equating U.S. and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas terrorists. pic.twitter.com/XpR0e6kVeo
— Mike Berg (@MikeKBerg) June 29, 2021
Tapper also asked Omar to respond to claims that she has pushed anti-Semitism.
“In 2019, you said lawmakers support Israel because it’s ‘all about the Benjamins,’ … there was a tweet from 2012 when you said Israel had hypnotized the world. Do you understand why some of your fellow House Democrats, especially Jews, find that language anti-Semitic?” Tapper asked.
“I’ve welcomed any time my colleagues have asked to have a conversation, to learn from them, for them to learn from me. I think it’s really important for these members to realize that they haven’t been partners in-in justice. They haven’t been equally engaging in seeking justice around the world,” Omar charged.
The Democrat then used her past struggles in Somalia as a cudgel to attack her Jewish fellow Democrats.
“I will continue to do that. It is important for me as someone who knows what it feels like to experience injustice in ways that many of my colleagues don’t, to be a voice in finding accountability, asking for mechanisms for justice for those who are maligned, oppressed,” she said.
Will @USJewishDems join us in calling out @Ilhan Omar for saying Jewish members of Congress aren't "partners in justice?" Or, is the JDCA and @HalieSoifer going to show us all, once again, that they're frauds?
Video from today: pic.twitter.com/NxzM6djd3H
— RJC (@RJC) June 29, 2021
“The daughter of a Somali Army Colonel, born to one of that country’s noble clans, claimed that descendants of Holocaust survivors (among the 12 Jewish Democratic colleagues who called out her antisemitism, what are the chances none of them are?) have ‘not experienced injustice’ as she has,” Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), told PJ Media. “One is forced to conclude that she means none of them have enjoyed being on the giving side, doling out racist bigotry.”
While Omar may have suffered amid Somalia’s civil war, that does not make her comments any less horrendous. She suggested that Jewish Democrats do not fight for justice because they support Israel and the “real victims” in the Hamas-Israeli conflict are the Palestinians.
Yet in the recent conflict, 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.
Rather than acknowledging her past mistakes and apologizing for her anti-Semitic statements, Omar doubled down, attacking even her Jewish fellow Democrats as failing to fight for “justice.” Despicable.