Ilhan Omar
Ilhan OmarReuters

Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar was named last week to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

In a Tweet on Thursday, Omar announced her excitement at being appointed to the committee that “oversees all foreign assistance, national security affecting the country’s foreign policy, treaties, peacekeeping and war powers.”

In a subsequent Tweet, Omar asserted that she and the other members of the committee “have our work cut out for us.”

“We need to investigate how foreign governments and their lobbyists have violated our laws. And we need to reign in arms sales to human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia,” she wrote.

Omar, who supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, in 2012 accused Israel of “hypnotizing the world” and of “evil doings.”

“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” she had tweeted in reaction to Israel’s November 2012 “Operation Pillar of Defense” in Gaza, in response to rockets launched by Hamas into Israel.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Omar appeared to defend the Tweet, saying, “What is really important to me is that people recognize that there is a difference between criticizing a military action by a government that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attacking to particular people of faith.”

“In that Tweet and in any other conversation I’ve had, I only talk about the State of Israel,” Omar said. “And I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not associating the people with the country and its government.”

The next day, in another CNN interview, Omar questioned “how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans,” asserting the 2012 Tweet was “clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war.”