House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the rest of her leadership team called out Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) remarks comparing the United States and Israel to Hamas and Taliban terrorists, saying the comparison has “no moral equivalency.”
“Legitimate criticism of the policies of both the United States and Israel is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate. And indeed, such criticism is essential to the strength and health of our democracies,” the group wrote.
“But drawing false equivalency between democracies like the U.S. and Israel in groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress towards a future of peace and security for all,” they added.
“We welcome the clarification by Congresswoman Omar,” the group added, noting, “there is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban.”
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) June 10, 2021
Pelosi, along with Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), James Clyburn (D-SC), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Pete Aguilar (D-CA) signed onto the leader letter that addressed Omar’s comments.
Thursday, Omar released a statement trying to clarify the remarks she made Monday in a hearing she attended virtually with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In her statement she said, “On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about an ongoing International Criminal Court Investigation.” She added:
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 was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.
Breitbart News reported on Omar’s original remarks:
Omar posted a video on Twitter on Monday showing her speaking on a video call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “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 U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” she wrote on Twitter, echoing her remarks on the video.
The tweet Omar was trying to clarify remains posted on Twitter.