WASHINGTON – Twelve of the 25 Jewish Democrats in the US House of Representatives said the United States and Israel grouping with the Taliban and Hamas were providing « cover to terrorist groups » in remarks on the prosecution of war crimes, and urged their faction colleagues Rep. D-Minn., To clarify her earlier statements.
« To equate the United States and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban is as insulting as it is misguided, » said the statement released late Wednesday, cited by the MPs Brad Schnieder, D-Ill. “Ignoring the differences between constitutional democracies and despicable terrorist organizations discredits the intended argument at best and, at worst, reflects deep-seated prejudices.
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« The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, deserve criticism at times, but false equivalences provide cover for terrorist groups, » the statement continued. « We urge Congressman Omar to clarify her words, which put the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and Taliban. »
The statement came after a meeting of the unofficial Jewish Democratic Caucus earlier on the day Omar’s tweet was discussed on Monday. “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” Omar wrote. « We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban. »
Omar and a number of other progressives have sharply criticized Israel after its conflict with Hamas in Gaza last month. Some Jewish Democrats have generally criticized their colleagues, but refrained from calling them by name until Wednesday.
The Jewish Democrats met on Wednesday to discuss rising anti-Semitism after the Gaza conflict, but Schneider spearheaded it Conversation to Omar, whose tweet drew sharp criticism from centrist and right-wing pro-Israeli groups and Israeli officials, as well as Republicans and conservative media.
In the end, he got 11 of the Jewish Democrats to join him on the declaration. The others are Jake Auchincloss from Massachusetts, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Florida, Josh Gottheimer from New Jersey, Elaine Luria from Virginia, Kathy Manning from North Carolina, Jerry Nadler from New York, Kim Schrier from Washington, Brad Sherman of California and Dean Phillips of Minnesota, whose Minneapolis borough is adjacent to Omar’s.
Some Jewish Democrats were reluctant to make a statement. Omar spokesman Jeremy Slevin said her comments had been taken out of context and distorted by the right. « As usual, the extreme right incites hatred against MP Omar over a technical question about an ongoing investigation, » he said. « It is the role of the congressman as a member of Congress that oversees federal oversight, following the facts, asking questions of the administration, and making sure the public understands that our government should not refuse anyone’s search for justice. »
Omar’s tweet contained a video in which her foreign minister, Antony Blinken, asked Congress on the same day why the Biden government is opposed to efforts by the International Criminal Court to investigate nationals of certain countries for alleged war crimes.
Omar said she does not believe Hamas, the Afghan government, the Taliban and Israel have reached the threshold of a military justice system sufficient to independently pursue justice.
Twelve Jewish Democrats urge Ilhan Omar to clarify comments – Jewish Exponent