Ilhan Omar, a Representative of Minnesota and member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party has been under scrutiny recently for her criticism of the U.S and Israel, comparing them to the likeness of The Taliban and Hamas. She also stated that her Jewish Colleagues “hadn’t been equal partners in justice”. This has led quite a few Jewish lawmakers, especially Republicans, to accuse her of anti-Semitism and a few even labeling her a “Muslim supremacist”. GOP Rep. Andy Biggs took to Twitter in regards to Rep. Omar’s comments, saying “Ilhan Omar is a rabid anti-Semite who has no problem smearing Jews, even in her own party. Shameful and un-American.” It seems Rep. Biggs was not alone in his feelings towards Rep. Omar’s criticism. Republican Sen. Tom Cotton also had some words for Rep. Omar’s perceived bigotry, asking “why is Ilhan Omar still on the Foreign Affairs Committee?” He then doubles down on his question and asks “Why is she on any committee?”
It seems as if the tension has been building up over this past September between Rep. Omar and some of her colleagues. Earlier this month she claimed that the Palestinians and Afghans might have a case against the U.S in an International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes that the U.S committed. This claim didn’t go over well with a few of her Jewish colleagues and likely attributed to the backlash she received for her latest comments.
Rep. Omar was asked during a conversation with CNN’s Jake Tapper if she understood why her critiques and comments were perceived as anti-Semitic by some Americans and Jewish Lawmakers alike. To which she responded with “I have welcomed any time my colleagues have asked to have a conversation, to learn from them, for them to learn from me. I think it’s really important for these members to realize that they haven’t been partners in justice.” She continued on, adding “they haven’t been equally engaging in seeking justice around the world. And I think I will continue to do that.” When asked if she regretted her comments, she replied “I don’t”. Elaborating on this she states “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 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. 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.” When pressed by the CNN host to reflect on why her comments may have been perceived as anti-semitic, the congresswoman responded with “No, I hear that. I have obviously clarified and apologized when I have felt that my words have offended. And it’s really important, right?”