Omar: Peace only achievable when we 'apply our universal values to all nations'

Omar: Peace only achievable when we 'apply our universal values to all nations'
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMeet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (D-Minn.), a frequent critic of U.S. foreign policy, said in an op-ed Sunday that peace can only be achieved when we "apply our universal values to all nations."

"I believe in an inclusive foreign policy — one that centers on human rights, justice and peace as the pillars of America’s engagement in the world, one that brings our troops home and truly makes military action a last resort," the Minnesota lawmaker wrote in The Washington Post.


"Peace and respect for human rights: These are universal values."

"Let us apply these universal values to all nations. Only then will our world achieve peace."

Omar, who fled her home country of Somalia during a civil war and then lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for four years, has been outspoken in her criticisms of U.S. policy abroad.

In her op-ed Sunday, the first-year member of Congress called for "reorienting our foreign affairs to focus on diplomacy and economic and cultural engagement."

"At a time when we spend more on our military than the next seven countries combined, our global armed presence is often the most immediate contact people in the developing world have with the United States."

Omar argued that the U.S.'s foreign policy should be more consistent to gain credibility.

"We do not have the credibility to support those fighting for human rights in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua if we do not also support those fighting for human rights in Honduras, Guatemala and Brazil," she said. "Our criticisms of oppression and regional instability caused by Iran are not legitimate if we do not hold Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to the same standards."

She also applied that reasoning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"A balanced, inclusive approach to the conflict recognizes the shared desire for security and freedom of both peoples," she said. "I support a two-state solution, with internationally recognized borders, which allows for both Israelis and Palestinians to have their own sanctuaries and self-determination."

Omar recently sparked criticism for remarks that some have deemed anti-Semitic. She suggested that politicians who support Israel do so for financial reasons and that lobbyists are pushing for “allegiance to a foreign country.” Critics say those comments rely on anti-Semitic tropes.

She has apologized for the comments but has maintained that criticizing the U.S.'s relationship with Israel is not anti-Semitic.

"When I criticize certain Israeli government actions in Gaza or settlements in the West Bank, it is because I believe these actions not only threaten the possibility of peace in the region — they also threaten the United States’ own national security interests," she wrote in the op-ed.