A group of 12 Jewish Democrats led by Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois released a statement on Wednesday night scolding the Minnesota Democratic congresswoman and “Squad” member.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided. Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice,” they declared.
“The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups. We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the U.S. and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”
The others who signed were Reps. Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, and Lois Frankel of Florida; Jerry Nadler of New York; Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey; Elaine Luria of Virginia; Kathy Manning of North Carolina; Dean Phillips of Minnesota; Kim Schrier of Washington; and Brad Sherman of California.
The statement was a response to a Monday tweet from Omar that asserted: “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.”
Included in the tweet was a video of Omar questioning Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the prosecution of "alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity," though she did not specifically compare the U.S. to terrorist organizations in the video.
Sherman issued a harsher solo statement on Wednesday.
“It’s not news that Ilhan Omar would make outrageous and clearly false statements about America and Israel. What’s newsworthy is that she admits Hamas is guilty of ‘unthinkable atrocities,’” Sherman said. “It’s time for all of Israel’s detractors to condemn Hamas. And it’s time for all those of good will to reject any moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel on one hand, and Hamas and the Taliban on the other.”
Omar hit back at the group of Democrats, accusing them of “constant harassment & silencing” and using offensive “islamophobic tropes” in the statement.
“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,” she tweeted.
Omar also warned that “this is the kind of incitement and hate that leads to real violence,” sharing audio of a person hoping for her death.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, a frequent critic of Omar, said that the Democratic statements criticizing her did not go far enough.
NRCC spokesman Mike Berg said in a statement, “Speaker Pelosi’s silence on Omar’s raging anti-Semitism is downright cowardly.”