Group of 12 Jewish Democrats in Congress called on Omar to clarify her statement, but Omar calls their criticism “islamophobic.”
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Radical Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Thursday rejected a call from fellow Democrats to explain her comments equating the U.S. and Israel with the terrorist Taliban and Hamas organizations, calling their request “islamophobic.”
Congressman Ben Schneider of Illinois spearheaded the call, asking Omar to clarify her comments earlier this week when she tweeted, “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” lumping in American and Israeli government policy with that of two internationally-recognized terror groups.
A statement released by Scneider and signed by a dozen Jewish representatives said putting her own country and Israel in with the Taliban and Hamas was legitimizing terrorist groups.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the statement read. “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 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,” the representatives said.
Omar rejected the call and accused her colleagues of going after Muslims.
“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,” Omar tweeted. “The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”
While many of Omar’s supporters tweeted their encouragement, others questioned her refusal to engage with her fellow Democrats.
“What’s shameful & offensive is that you sickeningly compare U.S. & Israel to Taliban and Hamas,” tweeted human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky. “It’s got nothing to do with ‘Islamophobia’, and you saying so, only undermines real struggle Muslims are facing. It does have everything to do though with your perverse values.”
Indian liberal activist Sonam Mahajan noted that Muslim refugees are constantly trying to escape to democracies like India and the United States.
“If America is as evil as terror outfits such as Hamas and Taliban, why doesn’t Ilhan Omar migrate to Iran or Afghanistan?” Mahajan tweeted. “Why represent America that commits war crimes when you can represent its victims especially when you are a migrant and have so many countries to choose from?”
“Does Ilhan Omar represent America or Islam? Why does she call every criticism of her prejudiced and lopsided statements,Islamophobia?” Mahahan said. “Nobody has ruined the Muslim case in the West more than representatives like Ilhan, who use the term ‘Islamophobia’ so casually.”
Omar and several other progressives in the Democratic caucus are known for their harsh anti-Israel stance and support of the Palestinians, despite the Palestinian Authority and Hamas being opposed to most liberal progressive causes.
Schneider’s statement was also signed by Representatives Jake Auchincloss (Mass.); Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Florida); Josh Gottheimer (NJ); Elaine Luria (Virginia); Kathy Manning (NC); Jerry Nadler (NY); Kim Schrier (Wash.); Brad Sherman (Cal.); and Dean Phillips of Minnesota, who represents the district next to Omar’s.
“It’s not news that Ilhan Omar would make outrageous and clearly false statements about America and Israel,” Congressman Sherman posted on his website. “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 U.S. and Israel on one hand, and Hamas and the Taliban on the other.”