Ilhan Omar controversy: Cori Bush accuses fellow Democrats of 'anti-Blackness and Islamophobia'

Jewish House Dems condemn Ilhan Omar’s comments equating US to terrorists

‘Fox News @ Night’ panel reacts to the congresswoman comparing the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban

Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., rushed to the defense of Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as her comments about Israel and the U.S. create division among House Democrats.

“Stop attacking @IlhanMN. Stop attacking us. I’m not surprised when Republicans attack Black women for standing up for human rights. But when it’s Democrats, it’s especially hurtful. We’re your colleagues. Talk to us directly. Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia,” Bush wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

“Once again disappointed in my colleagues quicker to condemn @Ilhan than they are to condemn the human rights abuses of the apartheid state of Israel. This statement purposefully distorts her words, stokes anti-Muslim hate toward my sister in service, and is unacceptable,” Tlaib wrote on Twitter.

Democrats, including Reps. Brad Schneider of Illinois, Brad Sherman of California, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts and Ted Deutch of Florida, asked Omar to “clarify her words” in a recent statement.

“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the group of Democrats said in a statement. “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.”

U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduces Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at a campaign event in Nashua, New Hampshire, U.S., December 13, 2019.  REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
(REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)

“The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups,” they continued. “We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.” 

Omar responded to their statement on Thursday.

“On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about an ongoing International Criminal Court investigations. 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. I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,” Omar said in a statement.

She had doubled down and accused her critics of “Islamophobic tropes” earlier on Thursday.

“It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for ‘clarification’ and not just call,” she wrote on Twitter. “The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment [and] silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”

The latest episode of intra-party division among Democrats over comments from Omar began during a Monday hearing with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Omar pressed Blinken on his opposition to the International Criminal Court investigating alleged war crimes in both “Palestine and Afghanistan.” 

Omar insisted there are alleged war crimes to investigate committed by both “Israeli Security Forces and Hamas.” She also alleged the Taliban and the Afghan government are responsible for war crimes. In a tweet, Omar said there were “unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

Omar drew sharp condemnation from both sides of the aisle for essentially equating the United States and its long-standing ally Israel to the Hamas terrorist organization and the Taliban. 

“It’s not news that Ilhan Omar would make outrageous and clearly false statements about America and Israel,” Sherman said in an independent statement on the matter. “What’s newsworthy is that she admits Hamas is guilty of ‘unthinkable atrocities.’ It’s time for all of Israel’s detractors to condemn Hamas. And it’s time for all those of good will to reject any moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel on one hand, and Hamas and the Taliban on the other.”

This post has been updated with a statement from Omar.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson and Houston Keene contributed to this report.

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