Politics

Rep. Omar: ‘I Almost Chuckle’ When Israel Is Called ‘A Democracy’

REUTERS/Eric Miller

Mike Brest Reporter

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar said she “almost chuckle[s]” when Israel is labeled a “democracy” during an interview with Yahoo! News’s Zainab Salbi posted on social media Tuesday.

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“How can America work to a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians in your opinion?” Salbi asked.

Omar responded, “By having an equal approach to dealing with both. Most of the things that have been aggravating to me is that we have had a policy that makes one superior to the other. And we mask it with a conversation about justice and a two-state solution. When you have policies that clearly prioritize one over the other.”

Salbi asked for a specific example.

“I mean just our relationship with the Israeli government and the Israeli state. And so when I see Israel institute laws that recognize it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it,” the congresswoman answered. (RELATED: Democrats Won’t Challenge The Anti-Semitism In Their Party)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 15: U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN)speaks to media outside the US Capitol on January 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. Members of the Freshman Class held a press conference on the government shutdown. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

She continued, “And we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East I almost chuckle because I know that if we see that any other society we would criticize it, call it out. We do that to Iran, we do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion. And I see that now happening with Saudi Arabia and so I am aggravated, truly, in those contradictions.”

Omar has received criticism from a 2012 tweet about Israel. It 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)

Earlier this month, she apologized for the tweet after previously defending it, explaining that she was unaware of the antisemitic connotations associated with the it.

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