Rep. Omar Acknowledges ‘Unknowingly’ Using ‘Anti-Semitic Trope’ In 2012

Mike Brest | Reporter

Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar explained Tuesday that she was unaware of the anti-Semitic connotations associated with the word “hypnotized” in relation to Jewish people, which she used to describe the Israeli government back in 2012.

The tweet in which she used the word “hypnotized,” reads, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine#Israel.” (RELATED: Rep. Omar Defends Tweet Claiming ‘Israel Has Hypnotized The World,’ Says It’s Not About Religion)

It was sent during the Israeli Defense Forces’ eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense, during which they were responding to rockets being fired into Israel.

On Tuesday morning, Omar tweeted a screenshot of a tweet from Bari Weiss, an opinion writer for The New York Times, whose tweet included a link to her story about the congresswoman titled, “Ilhan Omar and the Myth of Jewish Hypnosis.”

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 06: Minnesota Democratic Congressional Candidate Ilhan Omar speaks at an election night results party on November 6, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Omar won the race for Minnesota's 5th congressional district seat against Republican candidate Jennifer Zielinski to become one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 06: Minnesota Democratic Congressional Candidate Ilhan Omar speaks at an election night results party on November 6, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images).

The article highlights the fact that Israel was not “hypnotizing” the world, rather they were “defending itself against the enemies pressing on all of its borders, including Hamas, which has genocide of the Jews, and a belief in Jewish manipulative power, at the heart of its ideology.”

It also suggests that maybe “Ms. Omar is sincerely befuddled and not simply deflecting.”

The congresswoman’s tweet quotes that line. She explains that she was in fact previously unaware of the negative connotations of the phrase she used.

In her Twitter thread, Rep. Omar added, “It is important to distinguish between criticizing a military action by a government and attacking a particular people of faith. I will not shy away of criticism of any government when I see injustice —whether it be Saudi Arabia, Somalia, even our own government!”

While she acknowledged the anti-Semitic trope she pushed, the Congresswoman never explicitly apologized for using it.

In an interview on CNN last week when asked about the original tweet, Omar said, “That’s really a regrettable way of expressing that. I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish-Americans. My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza War.”

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