'Anti-Semitic Trope I Unknowingly Used:' Omar Responds to Weiss on 'Israel Hypnotizing the World' Tweet

The 2012 tweet was brought up by critics after Ilhan Omar's election to Congress for its alleged anti-Semitic undertones

Ilhan Omar, newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, celebrates with her supporters after her Congressional 5th District primary victory in Minneapolis, MN on Nov. 6, 2018.
AFP

Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar responded to New York Times writer Bari Weiss’ article on the anti-Semitic undertones of the lawmaker accusing "Israel has hypnotized the world" to carry out "evil."

Omar replied to Weiss on Twitter, who tweeted her own article, in a series of tweets in which she  both apologized and seemed to claim she didn’t understand the implications of her statement. Omar added that, “I will not shy away of criticism of any government when I see injustice —whether it be Saudi Arabia, Somalia, even our own government! As a survivor of war, the acts of war justified or not will always be acts of evil to me.”

Omar’s 2012 tweet, which read "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel," was brought up by critics after Ilhan Omar's election to Congress for its alleged anti-Semitic undertones.

Omar has previously addressed the tweet, telling CNN earlier this month, "I remember watching TV when that was happening," she said in a TV interview referring to the days of Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza in 2012, "Those unfortunate words were the only ones I could think about expressing at that moment."

Below is the text of Omar’s reply to Weiss and the actual tweets:

Hi @bariweiss,

You are correct when you say,

“Perhaps Ms. Omar is sincerely befuddled and not simply deflecting”

In all sincerity, it was after my CNN interview that I heard from Jewish orgs. that my use of the word “Hypnotize” and the ugly sentiment it holds was offensive.

That statement came in the context of the Gaza War.

It’s now apparent to me that I spent lots of energy putting my 2012 tweet in context and little energy is disavowing the anti-semitic trope I unknowingly used, which is unfortunate and offensive.

With that said, it is important to distinguish between criticizing a military action by a government and attacking a particular people of faith.

I will not shy away of criticism of any government when I see injustice —whether it be Saudi Arabia, Somalia, even our own government!

As a survivor of war, the acts of war justified or not will always be acts of evil to me.

Like #MLK90 , I unapologetically believe “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind."

It is important that when you see oppression taking place - when you see our values being attacked as humans - you stand up, and it doesn't matter who the inhabitors of that particular region might be.

Whether it is your father, your brother or your sister, you speak up.

There are many narratives of who and what I am, designed to demonize and vilify me.

It’s being building since my early days as an organizer. A concussion didn’t deter me and smears certainly won’t . I fought for my seat at the  table & will use it to fight a more peaceful world!