Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday that her party’s colleagues didn’t “rebuke” Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota last week, after Omar’s comments likening the United States and Israel to the terrorists Hamas and the Taliban.
“We did not rebuke her,’” Speaker Pelosi said while appearing on CNN’s State of Union. “We acknowledged that she made a clarification.
“Congresswoman Omar is a valued member of our caucus. She asked her questions of the Secretary of State. Nobody criticized those, about how people will be held accountable if we’re not going to the International Court of Justice. That was a very legitimate question. That was not of concern.”
Last week Democrats in Congress — include six of the top leaders — released a statement that gave the opposite impression of what Pelosi told Bash.
In a series of tweets Omar compared brutalities committed by Hamas and the Taliban with legitimate acts of self defense by the U.S. and Israel, saying that “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.”
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.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 7, 2021
Jewish Democrats were especially offended, and called upon Omar to “clarify” her comments, a mild form of rebuke.
Congressional Republicans are offering an resolution that seeks to censure Omar.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to Members of Congress openly defending terrorist attacks by Hamas against our close ally Israel nor their dangerous rhetoric which has contributed to anti-Semitic attacks across the country,” said Florida Representative Michael Waltz (R).
The resolution is being co-sponsored by Republicans Jim Banks (Ind.) and Claudia Tenney (NY).
Republican political leaders did not let Pelosi off the hook with her walk-back of Democrat leaders’ criticism.
“By failing to stand by their weak rebuke of Ilhan Omar’s disgusting comments, Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team are condoning anti-Semitic and anti-American rhetoric,” said Mike Berg, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Pelosi’s message is clear: anti-Semites like Omar are a key part of the Democrats’ coalition.”
Both blamed their fellow Democrats’ criticism on racism, saying that Democrat leaders “should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color.”
Pelosi’s comments on Sunday come as Democrats try to get past the another rhetorical landmine set by a Squad member who often rile their fellow Democrats.
“As Speaker Pelosi said, we are putting this behind us and I believe that we will ultimately come together as a caucus,” concluded Ocasio-Cortez.