Does this really count as an apology?

Newly elected congressional freshman (sorry… are we supposed to say freshwoman now?) Ilhan Omar has drawn considerable scrutiny for at least one blatantly antisemitic tweet she posted back in 2012. It definitely seemed to indicate that she’s not exactly a big fan of the Jews.

Now, as the Washington Times reports this week, she’s finally decided to issue an apology. Well… sort of an apology. Let’s see what she has to say for herself.

Rep. Ilhan Omar apologized Tuesday for “unknowingly” perpetuating an “anti-Semitic trope” in a 2012 tweet that has faced renewed scrutiny since her election…

“In all sincerity, it was after my CNN interview that I heard from Jewish orgs. that my use of the word ‘Hypnotize’ and the ugly sentiment it holds was offensive,” she wrote.

That statement came in the context of the Gaza War.

It’s now apparent to me that I spent lots of energy putting my 2012 tweet in context and little energy is disavowing the anti-semitic trope I unknowingly used, which is unfortunate and offensive.

Those quotes came from only the first two in a series of tweets on this subject. The first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that nowhere in the entire thread did she use the words “apologize” or “sorry.” But to her credit, she did describe her 2012 comment as carrying an “ugly sentiment,” as well as being “unfortunate and offensive.” In that sense, I suppose it’s sort of an apology, though she’s still clearly playing the “I had no idea” card.

If you read further down in that thread, however, the “apology” quickly turns into a self-defense speech. She immediately claims that she was criticizing the government of Israel, not the Jewish people. Not to beat a dead horse here, but I will defend the right of anyone to criticize policy decision by any government, be it Israel, the United States or the rest of the nations on the planet. But when you’re talking about wanting Allah to awaken the people and seeing “the evil doings” of the Jewish state, you’re pretty much calling the Jews evil.

She then goes on to criticize the people pointing out her earlier tweet, describing such conversations as narratives “designed to demonize and vilify me.” Not to put too fine a point on this, but apologies don’t generally tend to include attacking your critics.

I wouldn’t expect too much to change going forward. In case you missed some of her more recent online activity, Omar has been busy attacking the Covington Catholic students and defending the Black Hebrew Israelites. I’m not sure if anyone has told her, but even the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed the BHI as a hate group. Needless to say, we can probably expect much more of the same from Congresswoman Omar in the exciting two years to come.