Ilhan Omar Doubles Down on Israel Remarks, Sparking Outrage

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) sparked outrage with her comments during an interview on CNN, doubling down on previous remarks that listed Israel and the U.S. as entities that had committed "atrocities."

Appearing in an interview with CNN host Jake Tapper on Tuesday, Rep, Omar said she did not regret her previous comments where she mentioned the U.S. and Israel alongside Hamas and the Taliban as groups that had committed "unthinkable atrocities."

In the tweet, shared on-screen during the interview, Rep. Omar also said there had to be "the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity."

When asked by Tapper whether she regretted her comments, Rep. Omar responded: "I don't. I think it's really important to think back to the point that I was trying to make.

"Obviously I was addressing Secretary of State [Anthony] Blinken, the cases are put together in front of the ICC [International Criminal Court], the ICC has been investigating.

"I know that some of my colleagues don't lend legitimacy to the ICC, but I tend to think that people around the world who have experienced injustice need to be able to have a place where they can go.

"And, as a country that helped found the ICC and supported it, I think that it is really important for us to continue to find ways in which people can find justice around the world."

Rep. Omar was also asked about those who have raised concerns over her previous comments that some Jewish-led organizations regarded as anti-Semitic.

She continued: "I've welcomed any time my colleagues asked to have a conversation to learn from them, for them to learn from me.

The Congressperson added: "I think it's really important for these [House] members to realize that they haven't been partners in justice. They haven't been engaging in seeking justice around the world and I think I will continue to do that.

"It is important for me as someone who knows what it feels like to experience injustice in ways that many of my colleagues don't."

Rep. Omar's comments were met with condemnation on social media from various groups and figures.

Ilhan Omar doubles down on comments comparing the US to the Taliban

Shameful from a member of US Congress.

— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) June 30, 2021

Adam Milstein, of the Milstein Family Foundation which works to establish strong ties between the U.S. and Isreal, tweeted: "Ilhan Omar doubles down on comments comparing the U.S. to the Taliban. Shameful from a member of U.S. Congress."

Stop Antisemitism, a non-profit group, said: "Shocking - Ilhan Omar is refusing to take any accountability for her obscene antisemitism.

"Instead she has the audacity to blame Jewish members of Congress. When will this vile bigot finally be censured and properly reprimanded by her party. Enough is enough."

The Republican Jewish Committee also hit out at Rep. Omar and added: "Will @USJewishDems join us in calling out Ilhan Omar for saying Jewish members of Congress aren't 'partners in justice?' Or, is the JDCA (Jewish Democratic Council of America) and @HallieSoifer going to show us all, once again, that they're frauds?"

But, some defended Rep. Omar, including some of her Democratic colleagues in Congress.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) tweeted: "There they go again...right-wingers in Washington are once again claiming Rep. Ilhan Omar said something she didn't say, and trying to create controversy where they is none.

"It's pathetic that they are (once again) demonizing a young woman of color to score political points."

It’s their mission to turn and twist everything I say until I am completely silenced. Demonizing voices for justice is part of their playbook and it won’t work here. I am grateful to colleagues like you who are my partners in our fight for justice and equality at home and abroad.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 30, 2021

Omar later hit back at conservative figures on Twitter and accused them of having deliberately misrepresented her comments.

She added: "It's their mission to turn and twist everything I say until I am completely silenced. Demonizing voices for justice is part of their playbook and it won't work here.

"I am grateful to colleagues like you who are my partners in our fight for justice and equality at home and abroad."

She also previously apologized for accusing politicians for supporting Israel in exchange for money.

Speaking about her 2019 tweet about lawmaker's support for Isreal being "all about the Benjamins, baby," a reference to Benjamin Franklin who is on the $100 bill, Rep. Omar said: "I have obviously clarified and apologized when I have felt that my words have offended."

Omar's original tweet on June 7 sparked bipartisan anger, leading to a group of Jewish House Democrats to accuse her of equating the U.S. and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas.

In response, Omar clarified her remarks by stating: "To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.

"I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems."

Newsweek has contacted Rep. Omar for comment.

Ihan Omar
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks at the Pathway To Peace Policy panel on February 12, 2020 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Rep. Omar defended comments she previously about entities that had committed crimes against humanity. Getty