Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar compared Israel to Iran during an interview on Tuesday with Zainab Salbi on Yahoo News' "Through Her Eyes." Omar added that she "chuckles" when Israel is upheld as a democracy in the Middle East given last year's passage of the nation-state law defining Israel as a Jewish state.
Omar was roundly criticized for a 2012 tweet in which she said Israel has “hypnotized” the world. “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” the tweet read, which she has recently apologized for.
Omar, one of only two members of Congress to openly support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, serves as a member of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Comittee.
"I want to talk about Israel because it has been a point of contention," Salbi began. "How can America work productively towards a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians in your opinion?"
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“By having an equal approach to dealing with both. Most of the things that have been aggravating to me is that we have had a policy that makes one superior to the other,” Omar responded. “And we mask it with a conversation about justice and a two-state solution. When you have policies that clearly prioritize one over the other.”
When Omar was pushed to clarify, she added, “I mean just our relationship with the Israeli government and the Israeli state. And so when I see Israel institute laws that recognize 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, you know, we, we, we, we see that in any other society we would criticize it."
"We would call it out," Omar continued. "We do that to Iran, to any other place that sort of upholds its religion. And I see that now in Saudi Arabia and so I am aggravated truly in those contradictions."