Jewish House Colleagues Blast Rep. Omar for Comparing Hamas to Israel

Jewish House Colleagues Blast Rep. Omar for Comparing Hamas to Israel ilhan omar speaks into mic outside capitol Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on March 11, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 10 June 2021 09:24 AM

Jewish House lawmakers and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., are at odds after Omar tweeted about "unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban," Punchbowl News reported.

A group of 12 House Democrats issued a statement Wednesday night blasting Omar and demanding she "clarify her words."

Omar responded by saying her colleagues' statement was "shameful" and questioned why they didn’t speak to her directly.

The Democrat in-fighting started following Omar's posting of a tweet Monday after Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee in its hearing about the International Criminal Court.

During the hearing, Omar asked Blinken why the U.S. government opposes the court’s investigation into the Palestinian situation and Afghanistan, Punchbowl News said.

"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.

"I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice," Omar tweeted.

On Wednesday, Jewish Democrat lawmakers were on a regularly scheduled call, listening to a speaker discuss anti-Semitism from the right. The conversation quickly turned to Omar's remarks, and what the House members should do in response.

Omar's comparison of the Arab terrorist group Hamas to Israel was too much for some House Democrats. The two sides recently were involved an 11-day conflict, during which Israeli air strikes and Gaza rocket fire left more than 250 Palestinians and 13 in Israel dead, according to Reuters.

Punchbowl News reported a number of Omar’s fellow Democrats believe she is an anti-Semite, even though they don’t say so publicly.

The House voted on two separate resolutions in 2019 in response to Omar’s criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and support of Israel by American Jews.

House Republicans were expected to address the situation Wednesday, and ask why Omar is being treated differently than Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.

In February, the House stripped Greene of her committee assignments following her past comments on the QAnon conspiracy theories, school shootings, and 9/11.

GOP lawmakers could offer a resolution next week to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Punchbowl News said.

Democrats were discussing how to respond to this latest Omar incident, Punchbowl News said.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Ron Kampeas reported two statements, a "harsh" and a "less harsh" version, were drafted by Jewish Democrat lawmakers.

The "less harsh" statement eventually was issued by Reps. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Lois Frankel, D-Fla., Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., Elaine Luria , D-Va., Kathy Manning, D-N.C., Jerry Nadler D-N.Y., Dean Phillips, D-Minn., Kim Schrier, D-Wash., Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

"Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is 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," the group said.

"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 U.S. and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban."

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