Warren defends Omar from threats of violence over comments on Israel

Warren defends Omar from threats of violence over comments on Israel
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (D-Mass.) on Wednesday defended Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOmar fires back at Trump: 'You can't #MuslimBan us from Congress' GOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Trump criticizes trio of Fox News anchors: 'They should be working' at CNN MORE (D-Minn.) after the Minnesota Democrat faced violent threats over comments about Israel she made that some criticized as anti-Semitic.

“We have a moral duty to combat hateful ideologies in our own country and around the world--and that includes both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. In a democracy, we can and should have an open, respectful debate about the Middle East that focuses on policy,” Warren, who is running for president in 2020, said in a statement to The Hill. 

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“Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians. Threats of violence -- like those made against Rep. Omar -- are never acceptable.”

Omar has been inundated with bipartisan criticism after she suggested pro-Israel groups are pushing members of Congress to have “allegiance to a foreign country.”  

The freshman Democrat first drew censure last month when she accused some members of Congress of supporting Israel as a result of funds from pro-Israel lobbying groups, saying it was “all about the Benjamins baby.” She later said that members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee donated to members of Congress who had criticized her comments. 

House Democrats are currently tinkering with the language of a resolution that is a response to Omar's comments that condemns anti-Semitism. However, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.) has also said that Democrats have no intention of removing Omar from her coveted seat on the panel.

Republicans have excoriated Democrats for what they see as a weak response, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE calling it “shameful.”

Warren joins 2020 contenders Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (D-Calif.) in defending Omar.