Outspoken 'Squad' members have once again sparked controversy dividing Democrats in Congress - this time over support for Israel, particularly coming off last month's eleven-day bombing of Gaza in retaliation for thousands of Hamas rockets launched. The inter-party controversy is spilling over into rare public turmoil and heated accusations.
A statement from a dozen Jewish House Democratic lawmakers has slammed Rep. Ilhan Omar for "equating the US and Israel to Hamas and Taliban" and is further demanding she "clarify" her words which came in the following tweet earlier this week...
We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 7, 2021
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
"We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity," Omar had posted. "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban."
The Jewish House members' statement said the tweet reflect's Omar's "deep-seated prejudice" and further said:
"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," they said further.
But instead of backing down or offering an apology or clarification, the progressive Minnesota Congresswoman shot back with accusations of 'Islamophobia', saying later in the week: "The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable."
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.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 10, 2021
The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable. https://t.co/37dy2UduW0
She also appeared to charge the signers of the House letter with "harassment" as part of a campaign to "silence" and police her speech, claiming also that every time she "speaks out on human rights" she receives "death threats".
The whole thing appeared to stem from Omar's earlier in the week questioning of Secretary of State Antony Blinken over why the administration is seeking to block an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into Israeli war crimes against Palestinians as well as killings of civilians by US troops in Afghanistan, dual probes which are expected to span years into the recent past.
Twelve democrats led by Brad Schneider urge Ilhan Omar to revisit her words and not create false equivalences by equating democracies such as the US and Israel with Taliban and Hamas.— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) June 10, 2021
Ilhan calls it, harassment and Islamophobia.
Which part of this statement is Islamophobic? pic.twitter.com/Y0NZU8vEWb
A further tweet from Omar sought to defend her initial remarks where she invoked Hamas and the Taliban: "Citing an open case against Israel, US, Hamas & Taliban in the [The International Criminal Court] isn’t comparison or from 'deeply seated prejudice'. You might try to undermine these investigations or deny justice to their victims but history has thought us that the truth can’t be hidden or silenced forever," she wrote. Meanwhile some progressive Jewish organizations in America are currently coming to her defense.