A group of Jewish House Democrats criticized Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar over comments comparing “atrocities” committed by terrorist groups to those committed by the US and Israel, Axios reports.
“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” Omar tweeted earlier this week. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”
Omar’s comments were directed at Secretary of State Antony Blinken after the US opposed an investigation by the International Criminal Court into potential war crimes by both Israel and Gaza in their 2014 war and into Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank. Palestinian officials have backed the probe but Israel is “very concerned that any investigation could lead to international arrest warrants against Israeli officials and military officers,” according to Axios.
The Trump administration intervened in 2019 to block the investigation and threatened to sanction staffers of the ICC. The Biden administration has said it is “disappointed” that the investigation is moving forward.
Jewish Democrats condemn:
A group of 12 Jewish Democrats issued a statement on Wednesday calling on Omar to “clarify her words placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban."
"Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided," they wrote. "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," they added.
Omar hits back:
Omar said on Twitter that it was “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 & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable," she wrote. "Citing an open case against Israel, US, Hamas & Taliban in the ICC isn’t comparison or from 'deeply seated prejudice. You might try to undermine these investigations or deny justice to their victims but history has thought us that the truth can’t be hidden or silenced forever."