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Ilhan Omar Says She Doesn’t Regret Equating U.S. and Israel to Terror Groups

U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks at a news conference after Democrats in the U.S. Congress moved to formally condemn President Donald Trump’s attacks on the four minority congresswomen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2019. (REUTERS/Erin Scott)

During an appearance on CNN Tuesday evening, Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar doubled-down on her comments equating Israel and the United States to terror organizations or state sponsors of terror.

When host Jake Tapper asked the congresswoman whether she regretted making the comparison, she responded, “I don’t.”

“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. The cases are put together in front of the ICC, the ICC has been investigating…,” she continued.

In the specific tweet that drew ire and backlash from Republican lawmakers, Omar wrote, “We must have 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.”

A number of Democratic leaders in Congress condemned Omar’s statement, claiming that it “foments prejudice” and constitutes anti-Semitism against the Jewish community. The statement, signed by House speaker Nancy Pelosi, majority leader Steny Hoyer, majority whip James Clyburn, and other members, invited Omar to go on the record and withdraw her comment.

A group of Jewish House Democrats, including representatives Brad Schneider, Lois Frankel, Jerrold Nadler, and others, penned a joint letter earlier this month urging Omar to walk back her inflammatory words “placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”

“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 letter added.

On June 14, Republican representatives Claudia Tenney, Mike Waltz, and Jim Banks moved to censure members of the progressive “squad,” including Omar, for their rhetoric “defending Hamas and fueling a climate of anti-semitism.”

Omar did eventually release a statement clarifying that she did not make “a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.”

“I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,” she said.

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