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Omar feuds with Jewish Democrats

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarYoung Turks founder on Democratic establishment: 'They lie nonstop' Hillary Clinton backs Shontel Brown in Ohio congressional race The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters MORE (D-Minn.) is feuding with Jewish House Democrats about Israel — again.

A dozen Jewish Democrats who support Israel are publicly pushing back on Omar, a Somali refugee and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, for appearing to compare the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban while discussing war crimes.

“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided. 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,” the 12 Democrats, led by Rep. Brad SchneiderBradley (Brad) Scott SchneiderDemocrat says he won't introduce resolution to censure Greene Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Pelosi signals no further action against Omar MORE (D-Ill.), a staunch Israel ally, said in a joint statement.

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The group also called on Omar to “clarify” her comments.        

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

 

The eleven other Democrats who signed on to the Schneider statement are Judiciary Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerTech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation Senate on collision course over Trump DOJ subpoenas Black Democrats press leaders for reparations vote this month MORE (N.Y.), former Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzDriver in deadly Pride parade crash apologizes Officials say fatal Pride parade crash appears to be accident Mayor: Truck running into Pride parade was 'terrorist attack' MORE (Fla.), Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Omar feuds with Jewish Democrats House moderates unveil .25T infrastructure plan MORE (N.J.), Ethics Committee Chair Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchWray grilled on FBI's handling of Jan. 6 Omar feuds with Jewish Democrats Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' MORE (Fla.) and Reps. Jake Auchincloss (Mass.), Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelOmar feuds with Jewish Democrats Democrats fume over silence from DeSantis on Florida election Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings dies at 84 MORE (Fla.), Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaOvernight Defense: House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq war powers | Pentagon leaders press senators to reimburse National Guard | New pressure on US-Iran nuclear talks House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq war powers Omar feuds with Jewish Democrats MORE (Va.), Kathy Manning (N.C.), Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsOmar feuds with Jewish Democrats Shakespeare gets a congressional hearing in this year's 'Will on the Hill' Democrats plot next move after GOP sinks Jan. 6 probe MORE (Minn.), Kim SchrierKimberly (Kim) Merle SchrierCutting critical family support won't solve the labor crisis Omar feuds with Jewish Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - At 50 days in charge, Democrats hail American Rescue Plan as major win MORE (Wash.) and Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanOmar feuds with Jewish Democrats Lawmakers tout bipartisan support for resolution criticizing Iran's government Biden funding decision inflames debate over textbooks for Palestinian refugees MORE (Calif.).

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The controversy began when Omar was questioning Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenPutin accuses US of organizing 2014 Ukraine coup China has declared information warfare against America — Biden must respond vigorously Envoy says US in talks to remove foreign forces in Libya ahead of elections MORE during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Monday about the International Criminal Court's investigations of alleged crimes by the Taliban and the U.S. in Afghanistan, in addition to allegations against Hamas and Israel in the Gaza conflict.

"We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban," Omar wrote in a tweet earlier this week with a video of her questioning. "I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice."

Sherman, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, signed on to the joint statement but issued even more pointed criticism of Omar on his own.

“It’s not news that Ilhan Omar would make outrageous and clearly false statements about America and Israel. 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,” Sherman said in a statement.

But Omar, a member of the group of progressive women of color known as the "squad,” is showing no signs of backing down.  

Shortly after Schneider tweeted his statement about 11 p.m. Wednesday, Omar took to Twitter to call her colleagues “shameful” for issuing a public statement criticizing her instead of speaking to her directly. She further implied that her fellow lawmakers were being overly harsh out of inherent anti-Muslim bias against her. 

“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,” Omar wrote in a tweet responding to Schneider. 

“The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive,” Omar continued. “The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”

 

Omar reached out to the Democrats organizing the joint statement before it was released to "offer clarification," but her calls were not returned, according to her office. Schneider's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyTrump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says Hillicon Valley: Cyber agency says SolarWinds hack could have been deterred | Civil rights groups urge lawmakers to crack down on Amazon's 'dangerous' worker surveillance | Manchin-led committee puts forth sprawling energy infrastructure proposal Chuck Todd reluctant to 'ban' election deniers from 'Meet the Press' MORE (R-Calif.) called on Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi quashes reports on Jan. 6 select committee Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed On The Money: Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall | Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.) to “act” in response to Omar’s comments, but didn’t specify what he thinks should be done.

“Rep. Omar's anti-Semitic & anti-American comments are abhorrent. Speaker Pelosi’s continued failure to address the issues in her caucus sends a message to the world that Democrats are tolerant of anti-Semitism and sympathizing with terrorists,” McCarthy tweeted Thursday. “It’s time for the Speaker to act.”

But the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP campaign arm, is calling on Democrats to demand Omar’s removal from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

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A spokesperson for Pelosi didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill. 

Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHouse Republicans introduce resolution to censure the 'squad' Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries MORE (D-Mich.), the only other Muslim woman elected to Congress, came to Omar’s defense.

“I am tired of colleagues (both D+R) demonizing @IlhanMN. Their obsession with policing her is sick. She has the courage to call out human rights abuses no matter who is responsible. That's better than colleagues who look away if it serves their politics,” Tlaib tweeted.

Another fellow progressive, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez says she ranked Wiley first, Stringer second in NYC mayoral vote Five things to watch in the NYC mayor's race primary Heatwaves don't lie: Telling the truth about climate change MORE (D-N.Y.), said that the Democrats taking issue with Omar's remarks should have settled it privately instead of potentially making her a bigger target for threats.

"Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus. They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

It’s not the first time Omar has openly feuded with Jewish and pro-Israel members of her party.

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In 2019, the House passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, racism and Islamophobia after Omar questioned the pro-Israel lobby as a “political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” a sentiment seen by many as based on an antisemitic trope.

Omar also drew ire for tweeting that U.S. politicians’ support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” which was also viewed as as antisemitic for invoking tropes about Jewish people using money for influence. 

Omar said Thursday that she is receiving death threats. She posted audio of a person saying: “Muslims are terrorists. And she is a raghead n*****. And every anti-American communist piece of s*** that works for her, I hope you get what’s f***ing coming for you.”

—Updated at 1:27 p.m.