Ilhan Omar accuses her Democratic colleagues of Islamophobia and ‘unbearable harassment’ after they slammed her for comparing the US and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban
- Omar compared the US and Israel to terrorist organizations in provocative tweet
- Democrats have denounced her ‘outrageous and clearly false statements’
- On Thursday, she accused them of using offensive Islamophobic themes
- Her office said the result had been a surge in death threats
- A day earlier Jewish Democrats met to discuss how to respond to her comments
- Brad Sherman said the real insight was Omar admitting atrocities by Hamas
- New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin said Omar should be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee
Rep. Ilhan Omar is hitting back at her critics on right and left, accusing Democrats of whipping up ‘Islamic hate against her’ after they complained she was comparing atrocities committed by American troops and Israel with those of terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Taliban.
Omar has frequently been at odds with members of her own party in calling for Israel to be held to account for its actions against Palestinians.
The latest row stems from her pressing Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for an investigation into abuses committed by both Hamas and Israeli security forces.
On Twitter, she went further, describing ‘unthinkable atrocities’ committed by the US, Israel, Hamas and the Taliban, triggering an angry backlash and accusations of ‘false equivalencies’ between ‘imperfect’ democracies and terrorist outfits.
Her office claimed the result was an increase in death threats against her.
And Omar blasted back on Twitter: ‘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 and silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.’
Her senior communications director Jeremy Slevin said: ‘As usual, the far right is ginning up hate against Rep. Omar for a technical question about an ongoing investigation.
This has already led to an increase in death threats against her and her staff.
‘And now some of her own Democratic colleagues are ginning up the same Islamophobic hate against her, accusing her of giving “cover to terrorist groups” simply for exercising oversight over a criminal investigation.’
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a fellow member of the so-called ‘squad’ of progressive Democrats, defended Omar.
‘I am tired of colleagues (both D+R) demonizing,’ she wrote on Twitter.
‘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.’
Rep. Rashida Tlaib defended Omar, saying colleagues’ ‘obsession with policing her is sick’
An unofficial caucus of 25 Jewish Democrats met on Wednesday to discuss anti-Semitism after the provocative tweet was posted on Monday.
Omar had said: ‘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 US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.’
New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin said Omar should be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee.
‘She should have never been appointed to this Committee in the first place’, he tweeted Wednesday night.
Brad Sherman, a senior Democrat from California who has served since 1997, denounced the comments in a furious press release.
He said: ‘It’s not news that Ilhan Omar would make outrageous and clearly false statements about America and Israel. What’s newsworthy is that she admits Hamas is guilty of “unthinkable atrocities”.
‘It’s time for all of Israel’s detractors to condemn Hamas. And it’s time for all those of good will to reject any moral equivalency between the US and Israel on one hand, and Hamas and the Taliban on the other.’
‘Ilhan Omar must be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She should have never been appointed to this Committee in the first place.
A number of lawmakers at the meeting of Jewish Democrats wanted to name and shame Omar in a joint statement saying she ‘discredited’ the party, according to The Times of Israel.
Other than Sherman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Brad Schneider were among those pushing to condemn Omar, although no one on the call said they believed the tweet to be anti-Semitic.
Others present were Jamie Raskin, who was hesitant to denounce Omar, Jerry Nadler, Ted Deutch, Jan Schakowsky, Elissa Slotkin and Elaine Luria.