US congresswoman defends tweet accusing ‘oppressive’ Israel of ‘hypnotizing world’

Rep. Ilhan Omar defended a 2012 tweet in which she said that Israel had “hypnotized the world.”

By David Isaac, World Israel News

In an interview on Wednesday with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, recently elected Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar defended a 2012 tweet in which she said that Israel had “hypnotized the world.”

“I remember when that was happening watching TV and really feeling as if no other life was being impacted in this war,” Omar told CNN’s Amanpour, referring to Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel’s November 2012 incursion into Gaza in response to a number of aggressive actions by Hamas, including the launching of over 100 rockets on Israeli civilians.

“Those unfortunate words were the only words I could think about expressing at that moment,” Omar said. “What is really important to me is that people recognize that there is a difference between criticizing a military action by a government that that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attacking to particular people of faith.”

Amanpour appeared to praise the Somali-American freshman congressman who represents Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. Amanpour told Omar, who is one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress: “You’re one of a new wave of Democrats not afraid to be critical of the government of Israel.”

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During her election campaign, Omar claimed she didn’t support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which she describes as counterproductive to peace. A week after winning election, she reversed herself, telling a Muslim magazine that she supported the anti-Israel movement.