Rep. Omar's Remarks Cause Uproar Among Democrats

  • Rep. Omar's Remarks Cause Uproar Among Democrats

Rep. Omar's Remarks Cause Uproar Among Democrats

"Drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the USA 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", the leaders said. Brad Schneider, Jake Auchincloss, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Josh Gottheimer, Elaine Luria, Kathy Manning, Jerrold Nadler, Dean Phillips, Kim Schrier, Brad Sherman, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Nearly half of the caucus agreed to back a statement calling Omar's comparison as "offensive as it is misguided... 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".

"We write with a profound sense of concern in light of anti-American, anti-Semitic and bigoted statements made by our colleague, Representative Ilhan Omar", they wrote.

On Thursday, Omar tweeted that it was "shameful" that fellow Democrats who sometimes seek her support on issues didn't ask her for an explanation by simply calling her.

Omar had posted footage on Monday of her questioning Blinken at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing over the Biden administration's opposition to International Criminal Court investigations in Afghanistan, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. "The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable".

Omar later clarified her remarks.

Republican Leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, had called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her silence on Omar's comments.

Federalist Publisher and Fox News Contributor Ben Domenech said on "Special Report with Bret Baier" Thursday Democrats should approach the latest episode of antisemitism from Minnesota Rep. Ilham Omar with greater concern.

"Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes", Ms. Omar said in a statement then, about an hour after Ms. Pelosi and the entire Democratic leadership publicly chastised her for engaging in "deeply offensive" anti-Semitic tropes.

"Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided", said the statement. Whether in the name of fighting terrorism or bringing "democracy" to these states, America's uninvited military adventurism has resulted in massive death and destruction for the peoples of these countries.

"This is incited directly by articles like this and far right politicians like this".

Hemmer went on to read a tweet from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), in which the lawmaker wrote that "freedom of speech doesn't exist for a Muslim women in Congress".

Some Jewish Democrats hesitated to make a statement. To be clear: "the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel".

Tlaib wrote on Twitter that she was exhausted of her Republican and Democratic colleagues demonizing Omar. Omar's spokesman, Jeremy Slevin, said her remarks were ripped from context and distorted by the right-wing.

Despite their condemnation, the representatives made no mention of whether they believed that Omar should be relieved of her position on the Foreign Affairs Committee, a form of punishment that recently had been successfully applied against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) earlier this year and former Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King in 2019. But when it's Democrats, it's especially hurtful.

Before that, she was forced to apologize for suggesting that supporters of Israel were motivated by money, tweeting: "It's all about the Benjamins baby".

Sources said there was unanimous frustration among the caucus members with Omar's comment, but not about how to address it. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a leading progressive, appeared to be hesitant, but did not outright oppose a statement, the sources said.
While there may be elected officials in the party who agree with her sentiments regarding Israel's actions, the bluntness of her comments are largely unwelcome.