Multiple progressive Democratic Congress members defended Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks comparing the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
Omar claimed Monday that “we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” prompting 12 House Democrats to issue a statement Wednesday condemning her comments as “at best discredit[ing]… and at worst reflect[ing] deep-seated prejudice.”
Omar and fellow Democrats Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, who refers to herself as the fifth member of “The Squad,” Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, accused the letter-writers of Islamophobia.
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. pic.twitter.com/tUtxW5cIow
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 7, 2021
Omar claimed the letter writers used “Islamophobic tropes” and accused them of “constant harassment and silencing,” although she did not at the time provide any examples of them doing so.
It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for “clarification” and not just call.
The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable. https://t.co/37dy2UduW0
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 10, 2021
Bush claimed that her Democratic colleagues had attacked Omar “for standing up for human rights,” and engaged in “anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.” Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley retweeted Bush.
Stop attacking @IlhanMN. Stop attacking us.
I’m not surprised when Republicans attack Black women for standing up for human rights. But when it’s Democrats, it’s especially hurtful. We’re your colleagues. Talk to us directly.
Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) June 10, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez later claimed that the statement put Omar in danger.
Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus.
They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 10, 2021
Tlaib added that Democrats and Republicans have a “sick… obsession with policing her.”
I am tired of colleagues (both D+R) demonizing @IlhanMN. Their obsession with policing her is sick. She has the courage to call out human rights abuses no matter who is responsible. That’s better than colleagues who look away if it serves their politics. https://t.co/5n9OxZbK8Q
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) June 10, 2021
Omar received bipartisan criticism in 2019 for claiming that United States support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins.”
Democratic New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who signed the Wednesday statement, described those comments as “antisemitic” and “born of hate-filled texts like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” (RELATED: Omar Facing More Accusations Of Antisemitism)
The House of Representatives later passed a condemnation of antisemitism and Islamophobia that did not mention Omar by name.