Ilhan Omar Says She 'Does Not' Regret Her Israel Comments
Lawmaker says her word was not anti-Semitic
CBS anchor Gayle King asked Rep. Ilhan Omar if she regretted her comments on Israel that many have described as anti-semitic.
Omar responded by saying she did not intend the comments to be anti-Semitic.
“Oftentimes there are things that you might say that would not hold weight for you, but to someone else, right, the way we hear and consume information is very different from how the next person might be. Nothing I said was meant for that purpose,” she said.
King then asked her if she regrated her remarks.
“I do not, but I am grateful for the opportunity to really learn how my words have made people feel and take every opportunity I have to make sure people understand that I apologize for it,” Omar said.
The freshman Democrat added that she “certainly” isn’t an anti-Semite.
Omar came under fire earlier this year for suggesting that U.S. support for a Jewish state is the result of funds running from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbying group.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said in February 2019.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was accused of supporting the anti-Jewish campaign by Omar before she condemned the comments.
Omar also posted some controversial social media posts:
"Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” she wrote in 2012, as reported by the New York Times.
Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) apologized to Jewish constituents for her remarks in March:
“As a young congressman, I’ve got to tell you I’m sorry,” Rose told the audience gathered by the Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO), reported the Jewish Insider.
“You sent me to Congress to take responsibility. You sent me to Congress to have your back … and I failed you. Because I know that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s comments really caused you all a lot of pain by bringing up anti-Semitic tropes.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a message to Omar in March, about her “Benjamins” statement, saying: “From this Benjamin, it’s not about the Benjamins!”
“It’s because America and Israel share a love of freedom and democracy,” Netanyahu said.
“It’s because we cherish individual rights and the rule of law.”
“We don’t judge people by the color of their skin, their religion, or their sexual orientation,” he added.
In February, Vice President Mike Pence called for Omar to "face the consequences" for her anti-Semitic comments during a Twitter tirade over the weekend.
Pence slammed anti-Jewish Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Tuesday night following her public anti-Semitism, saying that her apology was "inadequate."
"@IlhanMN tweets were a disgrace & her apology was inadequate," Pence posted on Twitter."Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee.