Omar touched off the latest round of infighting Tuesday, when she tweeted an exchange she had with Secretary of State Antony Blinken throughout a congressional hearing and seemed to conflate the actions of the United States and Israel with those of the Taliban and Hamas.
A dozen of her fellow House Democrats, all of whom are Jewish, came together on Wednesday to demand Omar “clarify her words” in a statement that proposed that the Minnesota liberal had revealed “deep-seated prejudice” with her comments.
While Omar originally reacted to their statement with scorn, naming it a “shameful” and “offensive” effort to quiet her with Islamophobia, she clarified her original comments just hours later in a new comment aimed at quelling the uproar.
“I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,” she announced Thursday afternoon.
Though House Democrats were already in open warfare, with fellow progressives rushing to Omar’s defense throughout the backlash to her original remarks.
A rare statement from the entire House Democratic leadership team on Thursday scolding Omar for “drawing false equivalencies” in a way that “foments prejudice” increased the temperature even higher.
“Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of [Omar] coming from our caucus,” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
“I'm not surprised when Republicans attack Black women for standing up for human rights,” tweeted Rep. Cori Bush, a Missouri liberal. “But when it’s Democrats, it’s especially hurtful. We’re your colleagues. Talk to us directly. Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.”
And Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a member of the so-called “Squad,” blasted “bad faith attempts to take [Omar]’s words out of context.”
The latest row comes only weeks after Democrats fought over how the U.S. should react to the latest fight between Israel and Hamas.
President Joe Biden met pressure from liberals to face Israel regarding its airstrikes in Gaza, even as Hamas launched thousands of rockets at the Israelis. While lawmakers and activists on the Left insisted they were simply taking up the cause of Palestinians, others denounced those critics of pushing, or at least modestly tolerating, antisemitism.
“I’ll say the quiet part out loud; it’s time for ‘progressives’ to start condemning anti-semitism and violent attacks on Jewish people with the same intention and vigor demonstrated in other areas of activism,” Rep. Dean Phillips, one of the 12 Democrats who signed the statement this week chastising Omar, said on May 24. “The silence has been deafening.”