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Ilhan Omar Tries to Square Her Support for BDS Movement with Opposition to Iran Sanctions

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 15, 2019. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) attempted to explain on Thursday why she opposed U.S. sanctions on Iran but backs the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Omar has criticized the Trump administration’s decision to enact new economic sanctions against Iran after the country directly attacked U.S. positions in Iraq in retaliation fo the U.S. assasination of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani last week.

“Sanctions are economic warfare,” Omar wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “You cannot claim to want deescalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal. This is not a measured response.”

Omar was asked Thursday how she was able to square her position on Iran with her support for the BDS movement, which seeks to punish Israel for alleged human rights abuses and elevate the Palestinian negotiating position vis-a-vis Israel through an international pressure campaign.

“The BDS movement is a movement that is driven by the people,” Omar responded. “The sanctions on Iran are sanctions that are being placed to create maximum pressure by a government. That’s very different.”

The day after the strike on Soleimani, Omar suggested Trump ordered the operation to distract the public from the impending Senate impeachment trial.

“So what if Trump wants war, knows this leads to war and needs the distraction?” Omar wrote on Twitter. “Real question is, will those with congressional authority step in and stop him? I know I will.”

The congresswoman has had a history of trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. They can be seen in several of her past statements on Twitter, including that U.S. support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins baby” and that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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