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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., told CNN on Tuesday that she has no regrets over her recent comments comparing the United States and Israel to terrorist groups Hamas and the Taliban, and went so far as to blame her Jewish colleagues for taking issue with the remark.
Omar suggested in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that her original comments were taken out of context after Tapper noted that Democratic leaders condemned the ‘Squad’ member for equating the U.S. and Israel to terrorist organizations, which they said “foments prejudice.” Jewish House Democrats also penned a letter calling her comment anti-Semitic in nature. Republicans introduced a resolution to censure Omar for what they called publicly supporting “the actions of a recognized terrorist organization.”
“Do you regret these comments?” Tapper asked.
“I don’t,” Omar replied plainly. ” I think it’s really important to think back to the point that I was trying to make. Obviously, I was addressing Secretary of State Blinken.”
Omar then proceeded to blame Jewish lawmakers who find her history of anti-Israel remarks offensive, telling Tapper, “I’ve welcomed any time my colleagues asked to have a conversation to learn from them, for them to learn from me.
But, she continued, “I think it’s really important for these [House] members to realize that they haven’t been partners in justice. They haven’t been engaging in seeking justice around the world and I think I will continue to do that. It is important for me as someone who knows what it feels like to experience injustice in ways that many of my colleagues don’t.”
Omar has previously drawn criticism for tweeting Israel had “hypnotized” the world and suggesting that a pro-Israel organization paid politicians to support the Jewish state, in addition to her support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Furthermore, she recently retweeted a video from the anti-Israel International Solidarity Movement, which was previously investigated by the FBI for possible terrorist ties.
The lawmaker sparked fierce condemnation earlier this month when she called for “the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.”
“We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” she tweeted. “I asked [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] where people are supposed to go for justice.”
Omar, at the request of a group of a dozen House Democrats, later issued a public addendum to the comments.
“To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel,” she said. “I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
But on Tuesday, Omar appeared to stand by her original comments, igniting further outrage for suggesting Jewish members of Congress aren’t “partners in justice.”
“Will @USJewishDems join us in calling out @Ilhan Omar for saying Jewish members of Congress aren’t ‘partners in justice?’ Or, is the JDCA and @HalieSoifer going to show us all, once again, that they’re frauds?” the Republican Jewish Coalition wrote on Twitter.
“Shocking – Ilhan Omar refusing to take ANY accountability for her obscene antisemitism,” a bipartisan group against anti-Semitism wrote. “Instead she has the audacity to blame Jewish members of Congress. When will this vile bigot finally be censured and properly reprimanded by her party? Enough is enough!”
Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.
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