Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has come under fire over a recent tweet that grouped the U.S. and Israel with terrorist groups Hamas and the Taliban, all of which she said had committed “unthinkable atrocities.”
While Omar later walked back the statement, following pressure from members of both parties, it wasn’t the first time that she has stoked controversy.
Here are some of the most controversial statements the second-term Minnesota Democrat has made since ascending to Congress.
Comparing the U.S. and Israel to terrorist groups
Omar’s most recent controversial statement has landed her in hot water with senior members of her own party as well as her opponents when she compared America and Israel to murderous terrorist groups Hamas and the Taliban and said the two democracies have committed “unthinkable atrocities.”
ILHAN OMAR SAYS AMERICA, LIKE HAMAS AND THE TALIBAN, HAS COMMITTED ‘UNTHINKABLE ATROCITIES’
“We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” wrote Omar. “I asked [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] where people are supposed to go for justice.”
The tweet caught fire online and saw multiple members of her own party speak out against Omar’s rhetoric in a statement on Wednesday.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the group of Democrats, said of Omar. The signers of the statement included Reps. Brad Schneider, D-Ill.; Brad Sherman, D-Calif.; Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J.; Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass.; and Ted Deutch, D-Fla.
“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,” the group added. “The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups. We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”
DEM INFIGHTING REACHES NEW LEVEL AFTER OMAR CALLS COLLEAGUES’ CRITICISM ‘ISLAMOPHOBIC’
Omar responded to the criticism by accusing the group who sent the press release — which also included former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. — of using “islamophobic tropes” in a late-night tweet after the release was sent.
“It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for ‘clarification’ and not just call,” she said on Twitter. “The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment [and] silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”
Omar’s fellow “Squad”-mate Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who has her own history of controversy, defended Omar’s tweet — which Omar claimed the coverage of “directly” incited death threats against her — by accusing the Democrats that wrote the release of “purposefully” distorting the Minnesota Democrat’s words.
“Once again disappointed in my colleagues quicker to condemn [Omar] than they are to condemn the human rights abuses of the apartheid state of Israel,” Tlaib tweeted on Thursday. “This statement purposefully distorts her words, stokes anti-Muslim hate toward my sister in service, and is unacceptable.”
Accusing Israel of terrorism and war crimes
Omar is a staunch, open critic of Israel and her controversial statements only became more enflamed during the recent conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinian Authority-backed terror group Hamas.
Thousands of rockets flew indiscriminately into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as the Israeli forces retaliated with their own, targeted air strikes. The fighting came after clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in Jerusalem over potential evictions by the Israeli government.
REP. ILHAN OMAR ACCUSES ISRAEL OF ‘TERRORISM’ AMID CLASH WITH HAMAS
After weeks of fighting, the two sides declared a ceasefire, but Omar said the fighting stopping wasn’t enough and that the U.S. was “underwriting crimes against humanity” through support for Israel and that there needed to be “accountability for every war crime committed.”
Amid the conflict, Omar also accused Israel of engaging in “terrorism” through their airstrikes t
Ilhan Omar’s long history of controversial statements
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