Rep. Ilhan Omar offered up a stunning defense of her past anti-Israel comments.
The Minnesota Democrat and the first Somali-American elected to Congress was confronted by CNN about her 2012 tweet stating how “Israel has hypnotized the world” on CNN Thursday.
“I do want to ask you also about your comments on Israel,” CNN’s Poppy Harlow said, referring to the tweet at the time of Israel’s 2012 airstrike offensive in Gaza.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 16, 2012
“You’ve commented a lot since then trying to explain what you meant by that and I wonder just what your message is this morning as the first on our game changer series to Jewish-Americans who find that deeply offensive,” Harlow asked the freshman lawmaker.
“Oh, that’s really a regrettable way of expressing that. I — I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish-Americans. My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza war,” Omar responded.
“And I am clearly speaking about the way that the Israeli regime was conducting itself in — in that war,” she added.
The Muslim congresswoman, who was appointed to the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee this week, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday that it was the only way she could express herself at that time.
Rep. @Ilhan Omar says her anti-semitic tweets were the only words she could think of when Israel attacked Gaza. Can she please show us her tweets against terrorist Hamas when they recently launched rockets onto a Jewish kindergarten?
They don’t exist. pic.twitter.com/ezFIitpWbW
— Imam Mohamad Tawhidi (@Imamofpeace) January 17, 2019
“I remember when that was happening, watching TV and really feeling as if no other life was being impacted in this war, and those unfortunate words were the only words I could think about expressing at that point,” Omar said.
These comments seem telling considering Omar has condemned Rep. Steve King for allegedly making remarks about white supremacy.
The overtly white supremacist beliefs of @SteveKingIA have no business in our Congress. This should have happened years ago, but I’m glad his colleagues have been forced to act. https://t.co/qTUoASJXkD
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 15, 2019
The nine-term Iowa Republican has maintained that his comments were taken out of context even as GOP leadership removed him from his positions on the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees.
Remarkably, Omar had been appointed a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Jewish N.Y. GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin found the appointment disturbing:
Rep. Omar who supports BDS has said, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Instead of the Dems supporting Israel & combatting BDS & anti-Semitism on college campuses & elsewhere, they’re now empowering it. https://t.co/PQOvXG70eD
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) January 17, 2019
House Republicans came out swinging shortly after Omar’s interview Thursday morning and called on Democrats to denounce Omar’s rhetoric.
House GOP leaders call on Democrats to denounce Rep. Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitic rhetoric following her elevation to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. https://t.co/nSpYrdQBKf pic.twitter.com/wInZDr4HLW
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) January 17, 2019
As BPR reported, Omar felt free to mock Vice President Pence’s Christian faith shortly after being elected:
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 11, 2018
And after being sworn in earlier this month, Omar was photographed with anti-Semite Linda Sarsour.
Ilhan Omar’s first day in office: selfies with woman who said Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s (victim of genitle mutilation) vagina “should be taken away”, and “feminism is incompatible with Zionism” https://t.co/e97itNYGVf pic.twitter.com/tMuJNPHjxU
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) January 6, 2019
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