Democrats Seeking 'Clarification' of Rep. Omar's Remark

Ruben Fields
June 13, 2021

The letter was organized by Rep. Brad Schneider of IL and was released as a statement on Wednesday evening. "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban", Omar said Monday.

They included a video of her asking U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken where victims of cases of crimes against humanity should seek justice if the United States does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

"She is the Vice Chair of a subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and yet she is equating the United States and Israel to USA government-sanctioned and designated terrorist organizations", she continued.

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 global law.

The tweet renewed calls by some Republicans to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Omar had said: "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 USA and Israel". Ms. Omar seemed to allude to those pleas in her combative tweet.

Throw in that she seemingly equated not only Israel but the U.S. with the Taliban as committers of "unthinkable atrocities", and a quick rebuke was inevitable.

Omar at first did not budge from her position, spending the day retweeting other progressive members of Congress, such as Reps.

The remarks made by United States congresswoman Ilhan Omar are very peculiar; she equated between the victim and the executioner when she treated the resistance of the Palestinian people, the Israeli crimes in Palestine, and the USA aggression in Afghanistan as an equal footing.

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Even so, it marked a startling reversal concerning a practice that has persisted across multiple presidential administrations. The two newspapers whose reporters' phone records had been secretly obtained also said more needed to be done.

The analogy prompted outrage from a dozen Jewish Democrats in the House.

"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.

Tlaib said the House Democratic leadership should be "ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of colour".

In response to her colleagues Thursday morning, Omar tweeted: "The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive".

Republicans also criticized Omar, with the party's House leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy saying, "Rep. Omar's antisemitic & anti-American comments are abhorrent". "And now some of her own Democratic colleagues are ginning up the same Islamophobic hate against her, accusing her of giving "cover to terrorist groups" simply for exercising oversight over a criminal investigation".

Malliotakis, along with nine other GOP lawmakers, send a letter to Pelosi and Hoyer on Friday, saying that Omar's rhetoric warrants formal disciplinary action, calling her remarks a "new low". "She is a liability to the committee, and she's a liability to the United States of America".

In their statement, the House Democratic leadership responded to Omar's clarification, writing: "We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there is no moral equivalency between the USA and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban". "We consider anything less to be a form of complicity".

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. They did not respond before their public chastisement, said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private discussions. 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. "It's a big Middle East, and it's a huge world, and the Foreign Affairs Committee is not just about Israel", he said. "You got to do and say really, really despicable [stuff]".

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