Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarI'm a former New Yorker and current constituent of Ilhan Omar — this is why I stand with her Jack Dorsey called Ilhan Omar after Trump tweet that prompted death threats: report The symbol of 'Wakanda' and black political vision MORE (D-Minn.), the first Somali-American elected to Congress, on Thursday defended several tweets she sent in previous years, including one where she said she hopes people will see the "evil doings of Israel."

"I don't know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans," Omar responded when asked on CNN about a Twitter post from 2012 that was sent during the eight-day conflict between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip.


"My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza war, and I am clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war," she added.

Omar and Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSome Dem chairmen have changed tune on Trump impeachment Never underestimate Joe Biden Amnesty International, lawmakers denounce Saudi executions: 'Appalling' MORE (D-Mich.) are the first two Muslim women elected to serve in Congress.

The two lawmakers are vocal critics of the Israeli government and have expressed support for the "boycott, divest and sanctions" movement, commonly referred to as BDS, which encourages companies and governments to avoid doing business with the Israeli government until treatment of Palestinians in the region improves.

Omar called her election to the House last year to replace outgoing Rep. Keith EllisonKeith Maurice Ellison18 state attorneys general call on Justice Dept to release Mueller report Keith Ellison: Evidence points to Trump being 'sympathetic' to white nationalist point of view Trump: Media 'working overtime to blame me' for New Zealand attack MORE (D-Minn.) a rejection of "religious bigotry" in the U.S.

“In a time where there is a lot of religious bigotry, it’s almost perfect to have this counterbalance. My sister Rashida and I are from the heartland of America,” Omar said at the time. “To be elected to Congress is a real rejection of that message."