Ilhan Omar backtracks from anti-Israel tweet

Freshman Somali Congresswoman admits tweet Israel "hypnotized the world" was "offensive" and anti-Semitic.

Ron Kampeas/JTA,

Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar
Reuters

Rep. Ilhan Omar disavowed a 2012 tweet in which she said Israel had “hypnotized” the world, saying the term was “unfortunate and offensive.”

Omar, D-Minn., responding Tuesday on Twitter to a New York Times op-ed by Bari Weiss, said she had devoted too much time over the years to contextualizing the tweet, which she posted during the 2012 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,” the first-term lawmaker said.

Omar said her background, as a refugee from Somalia’s wars, made it an imperative to speak out when she saw the devastation wrought by war.

“It is important that when you see oppression taking place — when you see our values being attacked as humans — you stand up, and it doesn’t matter who the inhabitors of that particular region might be,” she said.

Weiss thanked Omar and asked her to engage further on the Arab-Israeli conflict.


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