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 WarrenConsumer bureau revokes payday lending restrictions Tammy Duckworth hits back at Tucker Carlson: 'Walk a mile in my legs' Trump criticizes Redskins, Indians over potential name changes MORE (D-Mass.) on Wednesday defended Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid 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 TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE calling it “shameful.”

Warren joins 2020 contenders Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJoe Biden wins New Jersey primary Biden wins Delaware primary Military madness in the age of COVID-19 MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTammy Duckworth hits back at Tucker Carlson: 'Walk a mile in my legs' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump wants schools to reopen, challenged on 'harmless' COVID-19 remark Judd Gregg: The coming Biden coup MORE (D-Calif.) in defending Omar.