“Squad” frontwoman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), along with Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), demanded a halt to the criticisms against Omar.
“Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote:
Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus.
They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 10, 2021
Omar, who has a history of speaking out against Israel and has come under fire for antisemitic commentary, said Monday the U.S. “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.”
Twelve of Omar's Jewish Democrat colleagues openly chastised her for comparing the U.S. and Israel to terrorist groups, calling it “offensive” and “misguided.” The Minnesota Democrat responded to them, saying their public condemnation of her was “shameful” and accusing them of using “islamophobic tropes” against her. She clarified that her initial comments were specifically about cases under investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Pressley wrote, “Stop the bad faith attempts to take @IlhanMN's words out of context. … Imagine if Congress was outraged by what Palestinians endure daily”:
Stop the bad faith attempts to take @IlhanMN's words out of context. She called a simple question.
The ICC exists to investigate and exact recourse when human rights are violated.
Imagine if Congress was as outraged by what Palestinians endure daily. pic.twitter.com/XP8JXD8k0S
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) June 10, 2021
Bush suggested the Democrats' issue with Omar, a Somali-American, was a product of anti-blackness and “Islamophobia”:
Stop attacking @IlhanMN. Stop attacking us.
I'm not surprised when Republicans attack Black women for standing up for human rights. But when it’s Democrats, it’s especially hurtful. We’re your colleagues. Talk to us directly.
Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) June 10, 2021
Six Democrat House leadership members, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), interjected in the intra-party unrest Thursday, echoing their Jewish colleagues' concerns by saying Omar's comment “foments prejudice and undermines progress” but also saying — in a sign that they were looking to conclude the infighting — that they “welcome the clarification” she provided.
Tlaib, who earlier wrote she was “tired of her colleagues (both D&R) demonizing” Omar, expressed later that she was unsatisfied with the Democrat leadership's response:
Freedom of speech doesn't exist for Muslim women in Congress. The benefit of the doubt doesn't exist for Muslim women in Congress. House Democratic leadership should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) June 10, 2021
Republicans, too, have taken issue with the controversial lawmaker for her sentiments against Israel.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), a Jewish congressman, called for Omar to be stripped of her Foreign Affairs Committee membership, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has previously objected to her membership on the committee, said Thursday, “Rep. Omar's anti-Semitic & anti-American comments are abhorrent. … It's time for the Speaker to Act.”
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.