Newly-inaugurated Congresswomen Ilhan Omar compared Israel to Iran while in the process of falsely characterizing the Israeli Nation-State law.
“When I see Israel institute a law that recognizes it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it, and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East, I almost chuckle, because I know that if we see that in any other society we would criticize it, we would call it out, we do that to Iran, we do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion,” Omar (D-MN) said. “And so I am aggravated, truly, in these contradictions.”
The law to which Omar was referring defines Israel as “the historical homeland of the Jewish people” and its “historical right to self-determination.” The recently-passed law, however, did not change the status of any religion in Israel, the only country in the region that affords religious freedom for all religions.
The declaration of the establishment of the state of Israel “promises freedom of religion and conscience and full social and political equality, regardless of religious affiliation.” The Nation-State Law does nothing to change this status.
Israel’s population is approximately 75 percent Jewish, 18 percent Muslim, two percent Christian and 1.6 percent Druze.
Just days after her win, Omar announced her support for the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement. During her campaign for her Congressional seat, Omar told audiences she believed BDS was “counteractive” since it wasn’t “helpful in getting a two-state solution.”
However, after her electoral win, Omar’s campaign switched her position saying the congresswoman-elect believes in and supports the BDS movement.
Omar has a history of demonizing Israel. In 2012, Omar accused Israel of “hypnotizing the world” and asked God to “awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Just before the midterm elections, Omar stood by that tweet and defended her position.
She recently said that her choice of words in the tweet were “unfortunate.”
During the Covington Catholic High School controversy, Omar falsely accused the high school boys of “taunting” members of a Black supremacist group. In actuality, the group was hurling violent and pornographic epithets at the boys.
“They were taunting 5 Black men before they surrounded [Nathan] Phillips and led racist chants,” she tweeted. She later deleted the tweet.