The left has a problem with the radicals in “The Squad.” However, rather than extricate them from the party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others are circling the wagons.
In a joint letter, Pelosi and Democratic Party leadership praised Michigan Rep. Ilhan Omar for walking back comments equating the U.S. and Israel with terrorists, the Daily Caller reported. Omar walked back those original comments after experiencing blowback.
Omar’s original tweet called for “the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” she wrote Monday. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice.”
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.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 7, 2021
The fallout from that statement was swift. “Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” a group of House Democrats scolded Omar in a Wednesday statement. “False equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups,” they explained.
Omar released her own statement Thursday afternoon to supposedly clarify (or, more likely, provide cover). “To be clear, the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those [International Criminal Court] cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel,” she said. “I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”
Pelosi’s statement after Omar’s paid lip service to the need for “legitimate criticism” as it is “essential to the strength and health of our democracies.” However, she acknowledged that making a false comparison between the powers “foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all.”
“We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban,” the Democrats’ joint statement said. This attempt to smooth things over might not go as planned, however.
Fellow “Squad” member New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had defended Omar’s comments even before the clarification. “Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus,” she tweeted Thursday. “They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.”
Still, Omar has a track record of anti-Semitic, anti-America rhetoric. While it’s refreshing that she walked it back this time, the problem remains that these sentiments are part of a broader pattern of prejudice.