Rep. Ilhan Omar Faces Backlash from Democrats For Statement Appearing to Compare U.S. to Hamas, Taliban

Headline Roundup June 10th, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team issued a statement Thursday addressing statements by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) that purportedly compared the U.S. and Israel to the Taliban and Hamas terrorist groups. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” Omar tweeted on Jun 7. After her initial tweet, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and other Jewish House Democrats issued a statement urging Omar to clarify her statements, to which Omar replied that her colleagues' "Islamophobic tropes," "harrassment" and "silencing" were "offensive" and "unbearable." On Thursday morning, however, Omar stated her comments were directed toward ongoing International Criminal Court probes, and that she "was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems." On Thursday, Pelosi and her team stated that while "legitimate criticism" of U.S. policies is protected by free speech, "drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all." The statement also said that the team "welcome the clarification" from Omar that there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban. 

Omar's comments, as well as the backlash from Democratic lawmakers, received coverage from across the spectrum; the story was covered more frequently by right-rated outlets. Some center- and right-rated outlets framed the incident as a potential indicator of a growing divide within the Democratic party. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar Faces Backlash from Democrats For Statement Appearing to Compare U.S. to Hamas, Taliban

From the Left
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other House Democratic leaders condemned Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in a statement Thursday after she wrote a tweet that seemed to compare the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban. “Legitimate criticism of the policies of both the United States and Israel is protected by the values of free speech and public debate,” the group wrote. “But drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress...

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From the Right
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other leading Democrats issued a statement Thursday afternoon thanking Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for a statement she issued Thursday morning “clarifying” a tweet Omar posted equating the United States and Israel to the terrorist regimes, Hamas and the Taliban — sidestepping calls to address Omar’s shocking language.

In the tweet, Omar suggested that the United States and Israel had committed “unthinkable atrocities” on part with those committed by terrorist organizations, including Hamas and the Taliban. In a short video, Omar demanded to...

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From the Center
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With a rare joint statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her entire leadership team on Thursday sought to quell a growing controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) remarks equating war crimes committed by the U.S. and Israel to those by the Taliban and Hamas terrorist groups. 

The joint statement by Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Vice Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) came after Omar responded to a request from a dozen Jewish House Democrats to “clarify” what she meant in her original remarks....

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