Ilhan Omar: Netanyahu's 'existence' a problem

Controversial congresswoman says "existence" of PM is "contradictory" to peace, reiterates support for BDS.

Gary Willig,

Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar
Reuters

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's "existence" a problem in an interview with CBS' Face the Nation program.

"I certainly hope that the people of Israel make a different decision. And my hope is that they recognize that his existence, his policies, his rhetoric really is contradictory to the peace that we are all hoping that that region receives and receives soon," Omar told host Margaret Brennan.

The congresswoman then reiterated her support for the anti-Israel BDS movement. "Just right now if you look at the annexation that's taking place, for many of us in Congress, there has been long standing support for its two-state solution, and this annexation now is going to make sure that that peace process does not happen, and we will not get to a two-state solution. I think what is really important is for people to understand that you have to give people the opportunity to seek the kind of justice they want in a peaceful way. And I think the opportunity to boycott, divest, sanction is the kind of pressure that leads to that peaceful process."

Last month, Israel barred Omar and fellow Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib from visiting the country.

Omar came under fire after she suggested on Twitter that Republicans were attacking her at the behest of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC. She subsequently issued a half-hearted apology before ultimately deleting the controversial tweets.

Omar later caused another uproar when, at a public event, she appeared to refer to domestic support for Israel as “allegiance to a foreign country”.

Her controversial remarks led the Democrats in the House of Representatives to work on a new resolution condemning anti-Semitism. However, the resolution was watered down to include condemnation of all forms of bigotry after objections from some Democrats. The watered-down version was ultimately approved by an overwhelming majority.




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