Rep. Ilhan Omar defended a 2012 tweet in which she invoked Allah to expose Israel’s “evil doings” during an interview with Amanpour & Company on Tuesday night.
“Can I just move on to something that’s generally a rite of passage for politicians in the United States, and that is to sort of profess sort of fealty — or pay homage to AIPAC, the pro-Israel PAC that is very, very prominent,” Amanpour began. “Should Jewish Americans be worried about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib because of the BDS Movement, because of one of the tweets you made a long time ago.”
As Amanpour pointed out, Reps. Omar and Tlaib announced their support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement. The movement calls for companies and groups to protest and penalize the state of Israel over their treatment of the Palestinian people. (RELATED: Sens. Rubio’s Office: It’s ‘Deeply Alarming’ Rep. Tlaib Was Photographed With Pro-Hezbollah Activist)
She continued, “You are a part of a new wave of Democrats not afraid to be critical of the government of Israel. And during the 2012 military offensive in Gaza, you tweeted ‘Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.’ How do you put that into context now and what do you say to American Jews.”
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 16, 2012
“So, I remember when that was happening watching tv and really feeling as if no other life was being impacted in this war. And that really — those unfortunate words were the only words I could think about expressing at that moment,” Omar responded. “And what is really important to me is that people recognize that there is a difference between criticizing a military action by a government that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attacking to particular people of faith.” (RELATED: Democratic Congresswoman Mocks Mike Pence’s Faith On Twitter, Gets Blasted)
“I say the same things, if not worse, when it comes to the Saudi government. I’ve called for boycotts of Hajj and boycotts to Saudi Arabia because to me it is important when you see oppression taking place, when you see regressiveness happening, when you see our values being attacked as humans, you must stand up and it doesn’t matter who the inhabiters of that particular region might be,” the freshman congresswoman continued.
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks pushed back in a press release, reading in part:
Rep. Ilhan Omar, like Rep. Rashida Tlaib, demonizes Israel, knowing full well that Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza, and the corrupt gang that runs the Palestinian Authority bear the responsibility for the conditions under which so many Palestinians live. The Palestinians suffer because their leaders are committed to a perpetual war with Israel and enriching themselves, without regard for the welfare of their people.
Her original tweet was sent during the Israeli Defense Forces’ eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense, during which they were responding to rockets being fired into Israel.