When friends fight: How dare Ilhan Omar compare the United States to Hamas, says Hamas

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

I don’t think Omar cares if her House Democratic colleagues criticize her. If anything, she might enjoy it. It’s good for her personal brand as an uncompromising leftist and perpetual victim. No doubt she thinks having a bunch of pro-Israel members complain about her is just further proof of what a serious problem “Islamophobia” is.

But Hamas criticizing her has got to sting.

It’s always hard to disappoint someone whom you admire.

The remarks made by US congresswoman Ilhan Omar are very peculiar; she equated between the victim and the executioner when she treated the resistance of the Palestinian people, the Israeli crimes in Palestine, and the US aggression in Afghanistan as an equal footing.

Hamas highly appreciates Omar’s stances in support of justice and the rights of the oppressed around the world, foremost among them is the just rights of the Palestinian people. However, it is unacceptable to make such an unfair comparison, which contradicts with basic norms of justice and international law…

The Palestinian people have the right to resist the Israeli occupation with all means possible, including armed resistance. In this regard, we cite the anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela’s famous saying: “It is always the oppressor, not the oppressed, who dictates the form of the struggle.” The resistance to the occupation by the Palestinian people over the past years is a legitimate and guaranteed right…

Thus, we hope that US Rep. Ilhan Omar and all defenders of Palestinian rights make effort to provide a proper and accurate description of the situation, as this is the starting point to lay the foundations for a fair solution for this prolonged state of injustice and denial of the Palestinian people’s rights.

Read the full statement. It sounds just like something Omar herself would say when she’s not busy having conciliatory words put in her mouth by Pelosi.

Republican efforts to punish her are all over the board at the moment. Ed noted this morning that Kevin McCarthy is expected to force a vote to strip her of her committee assignments. A group of Republicans who voted to oust Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committees in February sent a letter to Pelosi on Friday urging that Omar be kicked off the House Foreign Affairs Committee at least. This afternoon brings yet another measure, a resolution being sponsored by several House Republicans that would censure Omar — and the rest of the Squad — for their hyperbolic criticisms of Israel as an “apartheid state.” Key bit:

It’s curious that Omar and her comrades are attuned to how language might incite racial hatred against minorities in some cases, like describing SARS-CoV-2 as the “China virus,” and less attuned in others. Blame Israel every time Hamas starts firing off rockets and smear it as an “apartheid state” even though it grants more rights to Arab citizens than any country in the Middle East and go figure that some Americans might believe you and lash out at innocents in retribution.

Progressives have rallied to Omar’s defense on grounds that the question she put to Tony Blinken that set all of this off, asking about atrocities committed by the U.S. and Israel as well as ones by the Taliban and Hamas, isn’t wrong on the merits. The U.S. has committed war crimes in its history; war crimes are practically inevitable during a major deployment of troops. Why should Omar be attacked for recognizing a simple reality? The answer: For the same reason Trump was attacked for answering questions about Putin’s crimes by asking, “You think we’re so innocent?” During an academic debate, it’d be fine to compare how ruthless America has been at times in carrying out espionage and suppressing dissent internally to how ruthless Russia has been. But Trump wasn’t speaking academically. He was an elected official of the United States. Given his fondness for strongmen, his response reeked of making excuses for Putin even at the cost of questioning his own country’s moral superiority.

Same with Omar. Her question about U.S. and Israel atrocities didn’t happen in a vacuum. It wasn’t an academic inquiry. It’s part of her leftist view of foreign policy that western powers like America and Israel are more pernicious influences than outfits like the Taliban and Hamas. Any question comparing war crimes committed by the two sides has to be viewed through that prism, just as Trump’s answer had to be viewed in the context of his admiration for Putin. Which is why, to the annoyance of some grassroots Democrats, Pelosi felt obliged to jump in and issue her own statement politely disclaiming any equivalence between Us and Them. She knows where Omar’s at ideologically and she knows the public knows it too. All she can do when Omar and progressives show their collective ass on this subject is try to paper it over before swing voters are reminded that part of the American left is, at best, anti-anti-Hamas.