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Omar says her Jewish colleagues ‘haven’t been equal partners in justice’

Ilhan Omar says her Jewish colleagues in Congress ‘haven’t been equal partners in justice’ and insists she doesn’t regret comparing the US to Hamas and the Taliban

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar said Tuesday that her Jewish colleagues ‘haven’t been equal partners and justice’
  • She also told CNN’s Jake Tapper that she doesn’t regret her most recent comments that sparked fury among Jewish House members 
  • Omar had said,  ‘We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban’ 
  • The comment was interpreted as her equating Israel with Hamas and the U.S. with the Taliban 
  • Omar said she has ‘obviously clarified and apologized’ when she deemed it necessary, but said she hasn’t been afforded the same courtesy
  • ‘As I have explained to my colleagues, they have engaged in Islamophobic tropes. I have yet to receive an apology,’ she said 

Rep. Ilhan Omar said Tuesday that her Jewish colleagues ‘haven’t been equal partners and justice’ and said she didn’t regret equating the U.S. and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban.

Omar spoke to CNN‘s Jake Tapper, who asked her if she understood why the language she’s used about Israel was perceived to be anti-Semitic by Jewish lawmakers. 

‘I have welcomed any time my colleagues have asked to have a conversation, to learn from them, for them to learn from me,’ Omar responded. ‘I think it’s really important for these members to realize that they haven’t been partners in justice,’ she added. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar (right) said Tuesday that her Jewish colleagues ‘haven’t been equal partners and justice’ and said she didn’t regret equating the U.S. and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper (left) 

'We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,' Omar wrote in a tweet sharing a video of her questioning Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The comment sparked fury, including among Jewish Democrats

‘We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,’ Omar wrote in a tweet sharing a video of her questioning Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The comment sparked fury, including among Jewish Democrats 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens as Omar questions him about where victims of crimes against humanity can take their complaints

Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens as Omar questions him about where victims of crimes against humanity can take their complaints 

‘They haven’t been equally engaging in seeking justice around the world,’ the Minnesota Democrat continued. ‘And I think I will continue to do that.’ 

Omar added that it was important to her ‘as someone who knows what it feels like to experience injustice in ways that many of my colleagues don’t’ to be a voice in finding accountability. 

The ‘squad’ member’s latest dust-up with Jewish colleagues came earlier this month when she asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken where victims of alleged war crimes could pursue justice if the U.S. is against the International Criminal Court taking up the cases of Palestinians and Afghans. 

‘We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,’ Omar wrote in a tweet sharing a video of the exchange. 

Linking the U.S. and Israel to the Taliban and Hamas created an uproar, including among Jewish Democratic lawmakers. 

Previously, Omar had sparked fury when she talked about how the U.S.-Israel relationship was ‘all about the Benjamins.’ 

Omar responded ‘I don’t’ when Tapper asked if she regretted her most recent controversial comments.  

‘I think it’s really important to think back to the point that I was trying to make,’ she said. 

‘Obviously, I was addressing Secretary of State Blinken. The cases are put together in front of the ICC. 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,’ she argued.      

‘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,’ Omar added. 

More broadly she said she understood why some of the things she said would be interpreted as being anti-Semitic. 

‘No, I hear that,’ she told Tapper when the journalist pressed the point. 

‘I have obviously clarified and apologized when I have felt that my words have offended. And it’s really important, right?’ she said. 

Omar, who is Muslim, also argued that she hasn’t been afforded the same courtesy.  

‘As I have explained to my colleagues, they have engaged in Islamophobic tropes. I have yet to receive an apology,’ she said.  

She argued that it should be a two-way street of understanding.   

‘I think, when we are engaging in a space where we don’t know how our language will be received, it is important for us to be open-minded. And I think I have always been someone who is humbled, someone who understands how words can be harmful and hurtful to people,’ Omar said. ‘And I have always listened and learned and behaved accordingly and showed up with compassion and care.’ 

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