Ilhan Omar Is Still Defending Comments Comparing America, Israel to Terrorists

Posted: Jun 29, 2021 7:00 PM
Ilhan Omar Is Still Defending Comments Comparing America, Israel to Terrorists

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN Tuesday evening, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) defended her comments from early June in which she compared the United States and Israel to terrorist groups including Hamas and the Taliban. 

Despite being widely criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike, Rep. Omar stood by her words when Tapper asked whether she regretted her comments about "unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban."

"I don't, I think it's really important to think back to the point that I was trying to make," Omar responded. "Obviously, I was addressing Secretary of State Blinken. The cases are put together in front of the ICC — ICC has been investigating. I know that, you know, some of my colleagues don't lend legitimacy to the ICC, but I tend to think that people around the world who have experienced unjustice[sic] need to be able to have a place where they can go and as a country that helped found the ICC and supported it, I think that it is really important for us to continue to find ways in which people can find justice around the world."

She went on to criticize her Jewish colleagues in Congress for their condemnation of her anti-Semitic rhetoric.

"I've welcomed anytime my colleagues have asked to have a conversation, to learn from them, for them to learn from me," Omar began before calling them out for what she views is a lack of action against injustice. "I think it's really important for these members to realize that they haven't been partners in injustice, they haven't been, you know, equally engaging in seeking justice around the world."

"I think, you know, I will continue to do that," Omar continued. "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, to be a voice in finding accountability, asking for mechanisms for justice for those who are maligned, oppressed, and who have had injustice done to them."

Earlier this month amind widespread outcry over her rhetoric, Democrat leadership in the House condemned Omar for her comments, saying "drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all."

Omar subsequently "clarified" her remarks and when Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) was asked if further action should be taken against Omar for her comments, she said "no," adding "I think that she clarified her remarks and we accept that... She has a right to make that point. There was some unease about how it was interpreted."