Rep. Ilhan Omar’s latest remarks about Israel and Jewish members of Congress have sparked backlash, as the Minnesota Democrat expressed zero regret for comparing Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
In a CNN interview on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, Omar said she does not regret her tweet from earlier this month in which she lumped Israel, the U.S., Hamas, and the Taliban together. When asked if she knows why fellow Democrats – particularly Jews – found previous comments of hers about Israel to be anti-Semitic, Omar accused them of not being “partners in justice” while claiming that she herself “knows what it feels like to experience injustice in ways that many of my colleagues don’t.”
The interview sparked swift backlash on social media.
“Omar’s comments draw on classic antisemitic themes about Jewish clannishness, the notion that Jews only look out for themselves. They’re also plainly false,” said Avi Mayer of the American Jewish Committee. “Jewish lawmakers have been on the front lines, fighting for human rights in America and globally.”
“So Jews should learn from @IlhanMN what it’s like to experience injustice?” questioned journalist Annika Rothstein. “No one can ever say Ilhan Omar didn’t show the world exactly who and what she is.”
The condemnation has not been solely from Jews. Asra Nomani, vice president of Parents Defending Education and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, had perhaps the harshest criticism of Omar.
“This is what a modern day Muslim Supremacist looks like,” Nomani tweeted. “Ilhan Omar speaks to @jaketapper + rebukes Jewish Democratic colleagues for failing to be ‘partners in injustice.’ Her wound is bigger than their wound—a wound collector in the Oppression Olympics.”
Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein called Omar an “[i]gnorant antisemite,” calling for Democrats “to condemn her&remove her from every committee.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition called on their Democratic counterparts to “join us in calling out” Omar.
Jay Sekulow, attorney for former President Donald Trump, similarly said that Omar “is past due to be censured & removed from committees,” calling her “a repeat offender for antisemitic rhetoric.”
Seth Mandel of the Washington Examiner Magazine said it is only a matter of time before Omar completely alienates herself.
“Everybody’s got a line. If she stays in Congress long enough she’ll cross everyone’s,” he said.