Ilhan Omar on Tuesday retweeted a Twitter post that contained a video filmed by a pro-Palestinian organization that was once investigated by the FBI for alleged ties to terrorism.
Omar, the progressive lawmaker from Minnesota, retweeted the video just a day after she ignited outrage by mentioning the United States and Israel together with Hamas and the Taliban as those who have committed ‘unthinkable atrocities.’
The comment prompted several members of Congress, includes Jewish lawmakers in Omar’s Democratic caucus, to issue a statement condemning the comparison.
Omar on Tuesday retweeted a post by Marwa Fatafta, who describes herself as a ‘Palestinian feminist.’
Fatafta’s post includes a video filmed by activists with International Solidarity Movement.
House Rep. Ilhan Omar, the Democrat from Minnesota, retweeted a video on Tuesday filmed by activists from an organization that was investigated by the FBI for alleged ties to terrorism
Omar on Tuesday retweeted a post by Marwa Fatafta, who describes herself as a ‘Palestinian feminist.’ Fatafta’s post includes a video filmed by activists with International Solidarity Movement
The video shows Israeli Border Police officers detaining a young boy while local villages plead with the officers to release him
In the video, the boy is seen crying as the paramilitary officers haul him away. ‘This Palestinian child carrying his Spider-Man school backpack violently snatched and detained by Israeli forces,’ Fatafta writes in the tweet. ‘His wriggling is too painful to watch, but sure tell this brutalized child that [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] says he can claim justice from his abusers.’
ISM calls itself ‘a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the long-entrenched and systematic oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian population, using non-violent, direct-action methods and principles.’
It encourages foreigners to visit the Palestinian territories and volunteer.
The organization says those who arrive engage in activities including ‘participating in non-violent demonstrations, creatively disrupting activity by the Israeli occupation forces, accompanying farmers to their fields and residing with or near families whose homes are threatened with eviction, demolition or harassment by settlers.’
DailyMail.com has reached out to ISM seeking comment.
Last year, The Intercept reported that the FBI conducted at least two major investigations into ISM that included the use of ‘confidential informants and physical surveillance.’
It does not appear that anyone connected to ISM has ever been arrested or charged with terrorism-related offenses.
The video shows Israeli Border Police officers detaining a young boy while local villages plead with the officers to release him.
In the video, the boy is seen crying as the paramilitary officers haul him away.
‘This Palestinian child carrying his Spider-Man school backpack violently snatched and detained by Israeli forces,’ Fatafta writes in the tweet.
‘His wriggling is too painful to watch, but sure tell this brutalized child that [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] says he can claim justice from his abusers.’
Since 1967, Israel has imposed a military occupation on the Palestinian territories – the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem – that it captured in the Six-Day War.
Those areas are claimed by the Palestinians.
International organizations have accused Israel of human rights violations against Palestinians.
On Monday, Blinken appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a panel on which Omar sits.
Omar asked the secretary of state about the Biden administration’s decision to oppose the International Criminal Court’s taking up cases of alleged human rights violations by Israel and the US.
‘I know you oppose the court’s investigation in both Palestine and in Afghanistan,’ Omar told Blinken.
‘I haven’t seen any evidence in either cases that domestic courts both can and will prosecute alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The International Solidarity Movement calls itself ‘a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the long-entrenched and systematic oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian population, using non-violent, direct-action methods and principles.’ The image above shows Israeli forces demolishing a home belonging to a Palestinian near the West Bank town of Ramallah on Sunday
‘And I would emphasize that in Israel and Palestine, this includes crimes committed by both the Israeli security forces and Hamas.
‘In Afghanistan it includes crimes committed by the Afghan national government and the Taliban.’
She then asked Blinken:’If domestic courts can’t or won’t pursue justice and we oppose the ICC, where do we think victims are supposed to go for justice?
‘And what justice mechanisms do you support for them?’
To which Blinken responded: ‘I believe that we have, whether it’s the United States or Israel, we both have the mechanisms to make sure that there is accountability in any situations where there are concerns about the use of force and human rights.’
After the hearing, Omar tweeted a video of her asking Blinken her question during the hearing.
She wrote: ‘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 US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.’
That tweet prompted an unofficial caucus of 25 Jewish Democrats to slam Omar.
‘It’s not news that Ilhan Omar would make outrageous and clearly false statements about America and Israel,’ said Congressman Brad Sherman, one of the co-signers.
Omar likened US and Israeli actions to the ‘unthinkable atrocities committed’ by terrorist groups like Hamas and the Taliban
In her tweet, the Minnesota congresswoman included a clip of her line of questioning with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a hearing Monday. The questioning did not include lumping in the U.S. with terrorist organizations
‘What’s newsworthy is that she admits Hamas is guilty of “unthinkable atrocities”.
‘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 US and Israel on one hand, and Hamas and the Taliban on the other.
‘Ilhan Omar must be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She should have never been appointed to this Committee in the first place.’
Jeremy Slevin, a spokesman for Omar, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: ‘As usual, the far right is ginning up hate against Rep. Omar for a technical question about an ongoing investigation.
‘It is the congresswoman’s role as a member of Congress conducting federal oversight to follow the facts, ask questions of the administration and work to make sure the public understands our government shouldn’t deny any person from seeking justice.’
The eight House Republicans who voted to oust Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments say Democrats should impose the same punishment on Omar for her latest comments on Israel.
The group sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, signed by Carlos Gimenez of Florida, Young Kim of California, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, New Yorkers Chris Jacobs and Nicole Malliotakis, and Florida representatives Mario Díaz-Balart and Maria Salazar.
‘It is the responsibility of the party’s leadership in the House of Representatives to hold accountable egregious words and actions made by Members of the Party. Now is the time for you to rise to the challenge you have set for yourself,’ the letter reads.
The letter accused Omar of ‘fueling anti-Semitic violence against Jewish communities’ and ‘denigrating strategic allies of the United States.’
Brad Sherman, a senior Democrat who has served since 1997, denounced the comments in a furious press release
It called on Democrats to remove her from her seat on the foreign affairs committee, with those signatories removing their own party member Marjorie Taylor Greene from her seat on the education committee for spouting conspiracy theories.
The Republicans also claimed that Omar accused other lawmakers of ‘unconstitutionally pleading allegiance to a foreign sovereign because of their support of the U.S.-Israel partnership’ and ‘whitewashing’ the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
‘These comments and policy stances undermine the interests of the United States abroad and weakens the effectiveness of our foreign policy,’ the letter reads.
‘Her continued involvement as a prominent member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee cheapens the role of Congress in foreign policy decision-making.’
The lawmakers called Omar’s comments ‘anti-Semitic’ and alleged that not punishing her for them would send ‘a dangerous signal’ that the United States ‘tolerates anti-Semitism.’
Omar, for her part, hit back at Republicans, noting that former President Donald Trump told Bill O’Reilly in 2017: ‘You think our country is so innocent?’
O’Reilly asked Trump about his relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, noting that he was a ‘killer.’
Omar tried edging away on Thursday from the bitter fight with Jewish Democratic lawmakers, saying her remarks were ‘in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries.’
A three-sentence statement by the Minnesota Democrat also said her comments were ‘not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel,’ and seemed to dial back a more confrontational tone she’d taken earlier.
In a series of tweets, Omar had said her critics’ public rebuke of her was ‘shameful,’ accused them of ‘islamophobic tropes’ and said she was merely seeking justice ‘for all victims of crimes against humanity.’
Minutes after Omar released her latest remarks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, and the other top five House Democratic leaders issued an unusual joint statement making clear they’d disapproved of Omar’s initial comments.
‘Drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the US 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 leaders said.
‘We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there is no moral equivalency between the US and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban.’
The leaders’ statement seemed designed to try defusing their party’s latest rancorous dispute over the Middle East.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she will take no further action against Rep. Ilhan Omar for comparing the US and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban – and insisted she has ‘the right to make that point’
That schism has generally pitted younger progressives against older, establishment-leaning lawmakers who are more pro-Israel, a divide that has intensified since last month’s 11-day war between Israel and Hamas.
The quick intervention by top Democrats also came ahead of what may be a Republican attempt to train attention on Omar’s words when the House returns next week from recess.
In a possible preview of that, the National Republican Congressional Committee tweeted Thursday, ‘@Housedemocrats must vote to strip anti-Semite @IlhanMN of her committee assignments.’
The NRCC is the House GOP campaign organization.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, said Pelosi’s failure to take action ‘sends a message to the world that Democrats are tolerant of anti-Semitism and sympathizing with terrorists.’
McCarthy has resisted Democrats’ calls to punish Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, who last month compared Pelosi’s requirement that lawmakers wear masks in the House chamber to Nazis requiring Jews to wear yellow stars during the Holocaust.
A Republican effort to remove Omar from her committees would likely fail in the Democratic-run chamber, but would spotlight divisions within the party that the GOP has sought to exploit before.