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Jewish House Democrats condemn Omar for comparing US and Israel with Hamas and Taliban
Omar’s views on Israel and Palestinian rights have often put her at a crossroads with other Democrats, and GOP members often stress her position to justify the calls for his removal from commissions. Dispute between Omar, a progressive from Minnesota, and the group of House members who rebuffed his comments highlights the divide within the Democratic Party over Israeli politics, which continues after a recent violent conflict lasting several days in the region .

Omar tweeted on Monday that “we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the United States, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.”

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” she wrote, including video of her interrogation of Secretary of State Tony Blinken at a hearing in the House Monday.

The Jewish House group of lawmakers, including House Judiciary Jerry Nadler, argued on Wednesday that “equating the United States and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is wrong.” .

“Ignoring the differences between rule-of-law democracies and despicable organizations that engage in terrorism discredits the intended argument at best and reflects deep-rooted prejudices at worst,” the group said in a statement. declaration Wednesday.

They continued, “false equivalences give cover to terrorist groups.”

In response, Omar, who is Muslim, called her colleagues’ statement “shameful” and accused them of using Islamophobic tropes.

“It is shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now issue a statement asking for ‘clarifications’ and not just calling. The Islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment (and) the silence of the signatories of this letter declaration is unbearable, ”she wrote on Twitter.

Jeremy Slevin, a spokesperson for Omar, said the congresswoman contacted the group before their statement was released to offer clarification, but the appeals were not returned.

Omar also shared a threatening and rude voicemail message his office received, adding that “every time I speak about human rights I am inundated with death threats.”

She also said she was citing a case brought before the International Criminal Court against Israel, the United States, Hamas and the Taliban, which she said “is not a comparison or a ‘deep-rooted prejudice'” .

In March, the ICC chief prosecutor announced plans for a formal investigation into Israel’s alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories, sparking an angry backlash from Israeli leaders. Alleged war crimes committed by Palestinian militant groups like Hamas will also be investigated, but Israeli officials said they believed the tribunal was operating outside its mandate, questioning its claim to facto that a Palestinian state exists under international law.
The ICC has also previously authorized an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan by the US armed forces, the CIA and the Taliban.

Israel and the United States are not signatories to the Rome Statute that established the ICC in 2002, so the court’s investigation and any eventual decision carries less weight.

During a hearing in the Foreign House on Monday, Omar asked Blinken about the Biden administration’s opposition to the prosecution of these investigations by the ICC.

“I saw no evidence in either case that domestic courts can and will prosecute both war crimes and alleged crimes against humanity,” Omar told Blinken on Monday, adding: “So in these two cases, if national courts cannot or will not seek justice and we oppose the ICC, where do we think victims of these alleged crimes can get justice? ”

Blinken responded that the United States and Israel both have mechanisms to ensure accountability in situations where there are concerns about the use of force and human rights violations. He added that the administration continues to believe that the ICC’s jurisdiction is inappropriate, in the absence of a referral from the Security Council or a request from the state itself.

CNN has contacted the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for comment.

Republicans have often condemned Omar’s views, and Congressman Republican National Committee spokesman Mike Berg said Tuesday that “every Democrat in the House should condemn Omar’s disgusting comments.”

In February 2019, Omar was forced to apologize after members of both parties accused her of anti-Semitism for using an anti-Semitic trope.

The Democratic Party’s stance has traditionally been in favor of Israel, but progressives, including Omar, have criticized the Israeli government for its treatment of Palestinians. Omar also supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a nonviolent militant campaign that aims to exert economic and political pressure on Israel for its actions towards the Palestinians, including calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

This latest row between Omar and his Democratic peers follows the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas-led militants in Gaza. Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire on May 20, after more than a week of violent conflict that left hundreds dead, mostly Palestinians.
Following violence in the Middle East region, the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents more than doubled in May compared to last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

CNN’s Ryan Nobles, Manu Raju, Amir Tal, Andrew Carey and Angela Dewan contributed to this report.


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