There were renewed attacks on Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and a group of Democratic lawmakers joined Republicans in reprimanding her for her statements about atrocities committed by the United States, Israel, Hamas and the Taliban.
A report from Washington, published by the British “Middle East Eye” website, said that the attack on Ilhan Omar had become a pattern. Whenever she says something seen as controversial, Republicans are quick to express their anger. After that, some Democrats join the Republican condemnations and the debate tends to revolve around the limits of criticism of US and Israeli policies. Read also Deal with the world’s most brutal tyrant.. Ilhan Omar attacks Trump’s foreign policy and demands Biden to correct mistakes The Guardian: Biden’s silence on Israeli violence is a disgrace I eliminated an ally of Israel.. Ilhan Omar begins the road towards a second assignment in Congress
Ilhan questioned Blinken
The latest controversy began on Monday, when Omar, at a congressional hearing, asked Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about the administration’s opposition to the International Criminal Court’s investigations into abuses in Afghanistan and the occupied Palestinian territories.
She later tweeted, “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unimaginable atrocities committed by the United States, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.”
Although Omar was referring to two specific investigations by the International Criminal Court, the tweet sparked immediate anger from Republicans and right-wing media figures, who often target her.
They accused her of being an honorary member of Hamas
Republicans and right-wingers accused Ilhan of being an honorary member of Hamas, and of likening the US military to the Taliban, and called on “every democrat” to denounce her.
Instead of defending their colleague, a group of Democrats heeded the Republican call, and 12 Democratic lawmakers, including the chairs of powerful committees, issued a statement Wednesday condemning Ilhan.
“Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and vile organizations that engage in terrorism at best distorts the intent argument and at worst reflects deep prejudice,” the Democratic lawmakers said.
A stubborn Ilhan, the report says, defied the fire early Thursday, responding, “It is a shame for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now make a statement asking for clarification and not just a call. The anti-Islamic metaphors in this statement are offensive.” The constant harassment, and the attempt by the signatories to this letter to silence me, is intolerable.”
“Cutting an open case against Israel, the United States, Hamas and the Taliban at the International Criminal Court is neither comparison nor deep-rooted bias,” she wrote in a series of posts on Twitter.
Ilhan Omar had earlier published a threatening letter laden with insults and ethnic and religious violations that her office had received.
She said such attacks were instigated by the far right and “enabled by a political culture, in both parties that often allows and fuels fear of Islam.”
Later on Thursday, the representative stressed that she does not compare the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, saying in a statement: “On Monday I asked Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about the ongoing investigations of the International Criminal Court, and to be clear: The talk was about accountability for specific incidents related to the ICC. I have never compared terrorist organizations to democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
House Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, welcomed Omar’s “clarification.”
In a joint statement, they said, “Legitimate criticism of both the United States and Israel is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate. Indeed, such debate is essential to the strength and health of our democracies, but drawing false equivalencies between democracies such as the United States and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism such as Hamas and the Taliban incites prejudice, It undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all.”
Support from progressives
Several of Ilhan’s progressive colleagues defended her on Thursday. Some of them wrote that they were very tired and tired of the constant defamation, deliberate distortion, and general targeting of Ilhan Omar, noting that those who defamed her had no idea of the danger they were exposing to him by skipping private conversations and jumping into fueling the malicious news cycles around her.
They said Ilhan had the courage to call up human rights abuses no matter who was responsible, “better than colleagues who condone if it serves their policies.”
While some progressives defended Ilhan, Republicans demanded that she be punished. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on President Nancy Pelosi to “take action” against Ilhan.
they will punish her
“Omar’s anti-Semitic and anti-American comments are abhorrent, House Speaker Pelosi’s continued failure to address issues at her rally sends a message to the world that Democrats are tolerant of anti-Semitism and sympathize with terrorists,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
Republicans will almost certainly propose a congressional resolution against Ilhan, said Marcus Montgomery, a fellow at the Arab Center in Washington, DC, who tracks congressional affairs, and “Pelosi may feel pressure from Democrats to do something.”