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Rep. Ilhan Omar Slammed for Comparing US, Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, Accusing All of ‘Unthinkable Atrocities’

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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference, outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 10, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Jim Bourg

Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MI) was slammed on social media Tuesday after explicitly comparing the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban, suggesting all should face “justice” for human rights abuses.

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” Omar tweeted on Monday, while sharing a video segment of an exchange that day with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee budget hearing.

“We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice,” she wrote.

In the exchange with Blinken, Omar did not mention US actions, but asked about those taken in Israel and the Palestinian territories as well as Afghanistan — two areas where the US has opposed ongoing investigations by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into alleged abuses.

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“I haven’t seen any evidence in either cases [sic] that domestic courts both can and will prosecute alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity,” she told the Secretary of State. “And I would emphasize that in Israel and Palestine, this includes crimes committed by both Israeli security forces and Hamas. In Afghanistan, it includes crimes committed by the Afghan national government and the Taliban.”

“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 the supposed crimes can go for justice in both of these cases … where we think victims are supposed to go for justice?” she asked.

Blinken, speaking of last month’s conflict between Israel and Hamas, first responded that it is “impossible not to be profoundly moved by not just the loss of life in the recent violence and conflict, but especially the children whose lives were lost.”

“I think none of us from whatever perspective … can lose sight of that,” he asserted. “So that’s one thing that’s very important.”

However, Blinken continued by saying that the ICC investigations were inappropriate, and that he believes that both the US and Israel “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.”

“I believe that both of our democracies have that at capacity,” he said, “and we’ve demonstrated it, and we’ll need to continue to demonstrate it going forward.”

Blinken added that, in the case of Afghanistan, the issue was one of jurisdictional authority.

Omar was harshly criticized on Twitter for the exchange and her comments while sharing the video, with the Simon Wiesenthal Center calling for her to  “be stripped of her committee assignments for accusing the US of crimes against humanity.”

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), a veteran of the Afghan War who was severely wounded by an IED during his service, tweeted, “This is absolutely disgusting from a Member of Congress. I lost two legs and a finger defending the USA and fighting the radical Islamic terrorists that @Ilhan Omar is now defending.”

“She is completely unfit to serve our country,” he added.

Watch the full exchange between Omar and Blinken below:

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