Ilhan Omar says Jewish colleagues ‘haven’t been partners in justice,’ re-ups comparing US to Taliban

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has no regrets when it comes to her history of charged and antisemitic comments.

In a Tuesday interview on CNN’s “The Lead” hosted by Jake Tapper, Omar took the Teflon approach and pushed the blame back on her Jewish House Democratic colleagues, saying they “haven’t been partners in justice” and that her comments were taken out of context.

Tapper pointed to a few of the many antisemitic statements made by the congresswoman including a since-deleted tweet from 2019 that said the alliance between the US and Israel is “all about the Benjamins.”

Tapper mentioned Omar’s 2012 claim that Israel “has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

“Do you regret these comments?” Tapper asked.

“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,” Omar answered.

“Do you understand why some of your fellow House Democrats, especially Jews, find that language antisemitic?” Tapper pressed the congresswoman.

“I’ve welcomed, you know, anytime my colleagues have asked to have a conversation, to learn from them, for them to learn from me. I think it’s really important for these members to realize that they haven’t been partners in justice. They haven’t been, you know, equally engaging in seeking justice around the world,” Omar responded.

(Video: CNN)

“And I think, you know, I will continue to do that. 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,” the congresswoman continued.

Omar was under fire earlier this month for comparing the U.S. and Israel to Hamas, Afghanistan, and the Taliban, stating that they’ve all committed “unthinkable atrocities”.

A dozen House Democrats called on Omar to clarify her words in a statement saying, “The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups.”

“To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel,” Omar said.

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

Despite her forced apologies, Omar’s Tuesday appearance on “The Lead” proves that she still stands by what she originally said.

This double down has renewed calls for more Democratic Jewish members of Congress to stand up against Omar’s antisemitic rhetoric.

In the past, calls for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee have largely gone unanswered as Pelosi has accepted Omar’s previous apologies at face value. It is unclear whether or not Omar’s latest, cantankerous interview will result in stronger action from the speaker.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has pledged to remove Omar from her committees if Republicans win back the majority in the House.


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