“On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about ongoing International Criminal Court investigations,” Omar mentioned in an announcement. “To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.
“I used to be by no means equating terrorist organizations with democratic nations with well-established judicial methods.”
The clarification comes days after Omar prompted a public rift among Democrats when she tweeted Monday that “we’ve seen unthinkable atrocities dedicated by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”
“We will need to have the identical stage of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes towards humanity,” she wrote, including a video of herself questioning Blinken during a House hearing Monday.
On Wednesday, the group of Jewish House lawmakers, including House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, argued that “equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it’s misguided.”
They continued, “false equivalencies give cowl to terrorist teams.”
House Democratic leaders mentioned in an announcement Thursday, “We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar that there isn’t any ethical equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban.”
But, they also said, “drawing false equivalencies between democracies just like the U.S. and Israel and teams that have interaction in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress towards a way forward for peace and safety for all.”
Omar, who is Muslim, had initially called her colleagues’ Wednesday statement “shameful” and accused them of using Islamophobic tropes.
“It’s shameful for colleagues who name me once they want my assist to now put out an announcement asking for ‘clarification’ and never simply name. The islamophobic tropes on this assertion are offensive. The fixed harassment (and) silencing from the signers of this letter is insufferable,” she wrote on Twitter.
Jeremy Slevin, a spokesman for Omar, said that the congresswoman had reached out to the group ahead of their statement release to offer clarification, but calls were not returned.
Omar also shared a threatening, profanity-laced voicemail her office received, adding that “each time I communicate out on human rights I’m inundated with loss of life threats.”
“They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.”
Omar additionally mentioned she was citing an open case within the International Criminal Court towards Israel, the US, Hamas and the Taliban, which she argued “isn’t comparison or from ‘deeply seated prejudice’.”
Israel and the United States will not be signatories to the Rome Statute which established the ICC in 2002, so the courtroom’s investigation and any eventual ruling carry much less weight.
In a House Foreign Affairs listening to Monday, Omar had requested Blinken concerning the Biden administration’s opposition to the ICC pursuing these investigations.
“I haven’t seen any evidence in either cases that domestic courts both can and will prosecute alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Omar mentioned to Blinken Monday, including, “So in both of these cases, if domestic courts can’t or won’t pursue justice and we oppose the ICC, where do we think the victims of these supposed crimes can go for justice?”
Blinken replied that the US and Israel each have the mechanisms to make sure accountability in conditions the place there are considerations about use of pressure and human rights abuses. He added that the administration continues to consider that the ICC’s jurisdiction is inappropriate, absent a Security Council referral or request from the state itself.
Republicans have typically condemned Omar’s views, and National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Mike Berg mentioned Tuesday that “every House Democrat should condemn Omar’s disgusting comments.”
The Democratic Party’s place has historically been in assist of Israel, however progressives, together with Omar, have been important of the Israeli authorities over its remedy of Palestinians. Omar additionally supported the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions motion, a nonviolent activist marketing campaign that goals to place financial and political strain on Israel over its actions towards Palestinians, together with calling for an finish to Israeli occupation of the West Bank.
This story and headline have been up to date with extra data Thursday.
Source’s Ryan Nobles, Manu Raju, Amir Tal, Andrew Carey, Paul LeBlanc and Angela Dewan contributed to this report.