Ilhan Omar, during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, pleaded ignorance when it came to her history of anti-Semitic comments and flatly denied comparing Israel to the Taliban.
Dana Bash, the show’s host, confronted Omar (D-MN) in noting that she was being considered for removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee for a history of incendiary statements.
“I’m told that Republicans presented a list in their meeting, in a private meeting, this past week,” Bash said.
She then ticked off several instances of the Democrat lawmaker spreading anti-Semitic tropes and pointed out one of the claims is that she “compared the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.”
“Yes, I might have used words at the time that I didn’t understand were trafficking in antisemitism,” she explained before adding, “I have never compared or made any comparisons.”
Finally, CNN’s Dana Bash asks Ilhan Omar about her antisemitism and why that shouldn’t bar her from the House Foreign Affairs Committee: pic.twitter.com/coL5J62ADm
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) January 29, 2023
RELATED: Ilhan Omar Backs Down After Criticism From Jewish Democrats For Her Comparison Of U.S. And Taliban, Hamas
Ilhan Omar Compares US, Israel to Taliban
The comparison Representative Ilhan Omar is clearly referencing involves remarks she directed at Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the ICC in June of 2021.
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“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” she said. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”
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.
I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice. pic.twitter.com/tUtxW5cIow
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 7, 2021
Critics were upset by Omar’s comparison and initially, she was defiant over the comments, even accusing Democrat colleagues of engaging in “Islamophobic tropes” and “constant harassment” for daring to speak out against her.
A caucus of a dozen Jewish Democrats condemned Omar’s comments in a statement that pointed out she made a direct comparison.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the statement read in part, before accusing the congresswoman of making comments that provide “false equivalence” and “give cover to terrorist groups.”
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.
The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable. https://t.co/37dy2UduW0
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 10, 2021
She would eventually issue a statement to clarify her comments, insisting she wasn’t comparing the US and Israel to the Taliban despite lumping them into the same group of people who have committed “atrocities” and “crimes against humanity.”
“To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC (International Criminal Court) cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel,” Omar said.
“I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
It was a defense she repeated in the “State of the Union” interview.
“What I was referencing was a case that was in front of the ICC,” she said before again accusing critics of bigotry.
“It is politically motivated,” she claimed. “And, in some cases, it’s motivated by the fact that many of these members don’t believe a Muslim, a refugee, an African should even be in Congress, let alone have the opportunity to serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar goes there and implies fellow Democrats are being overly critical of her because of inherent anti-Muslim bias:
“The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive,” she said.
— Cristina Marcos (@cimarcos) June 10, 2021
While Omar has tried to clarify what she allegedly meant to say, the fact is she did make the comparison.
Further, she later told CNN’s Jake Tapper that she does not regret making the comments in the first place.
Therefore, we rate the claim that she never compared Israel or the United States to the Taliban as ‘False.’
Not Her Only Israel Comparison
In addition, that wasn’t the only time Ilhan Omar has made an unfavorable comparison of Israel to terrorist groups or nations that harbor terrorists.
In 2019, she compared Israel to Iran and said the idea that they represent a democracy makes her “chuckle.”
“We still uphold it (Israel) as a democracy in the Middle East I almost chuckle because I know that if we see that any other society we would criticize it, call it out,” said Omar, suggesting the Jewish state does not recognize other religions.
“We do that to Iran, we do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion,” she continued. “And I see that now happening with Saudi Arabia and so I am aggravated, truly, in those contradictions.”
After anti-Semitism accusations, Rep. Omar compares Israel to Iran & claims it is not a democracyhttps://t.co/1dRGmSeApj pic.twitter.com/1ncKiGBSbP
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 30, 2019
Omar has a rich history of anti-Semitism that disqualifies her from representing the House on the Foreign Affairs Committee which includes but is not limited to:
- Tweeting “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
- Said that Jewish lawmakers “have allegiance to a foreign country” regarding their support for Israel.
- Tweeting that US support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins” and when she was asked what she meant, she responded “AIPAC!”
- Asked a judge for compassion for ISIS recruits who were being sentenced for planning to join the terrorist organization.
- Dismissed 9/11 as “some people did something” and allegedly refused to answer if she was “pro-al Qaeda.”
- Shared a cartoon that even her Democrat colleagues called out as “vile” and “anti-Semitic.”
- Defended and promoted the anti-Semitic BDS movement.
- Described acts of terrorism as a reaction to the United States’ “involvement in other people’s affairs.”
She made another ill-advised comparison back in 2019.
A CNN fact-check of whether or not Omar has praised al Qaeda proved she had not, but they concluded: “It is possible to argue … that she was implying that there is an equivalence between al Qaeda and the US army.”
The idea that Omar has “never compared or made any comparisons” of the US or Israel to the Taliban is not correct.
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