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During a House Foreign Affairs Committee audience On Monday, Representative Ilhan Omar asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken a simple question: Where do victims of human rights abuses, like those suffered by Israel and the United States, seek justice?
This question comes after Blinken publicly opposed an investigation by the International Criminal Court into human rights violations committed by Israel against the Palestinians.
Omar tweeted a video clip of the hearing, adding, “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 United States, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban. ”
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 United States, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.
Instead of a thoughtful political discussion of the victims of the violence perpetuated by the United States and its allies, a wave of condemnation followed the member’s statements.
The Democratic House leadership, led by Nancy Pelosi, released a rare joint statement denouncing Omar’s tweet as a false equivalence. A group of Jewish lawmakers called his statement offensive. And, of course, the right has taken hold of Omar’s comments, leading to Islamophobic rhetoric being launched against the Minnesota lawmaker.
– Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 10, 2021
Some progressive Jewish advocates have fought back against the condemnations of Representative Omar’s colleagues. “It is strange that their statement does not address the actual content of @IlhanMN’s question,” Jewish Voice for Peace Action said in a tweet. “Don’t these members of Congress want to know how victims of war crimes can seek justice? And besides, the United States and Israel absolutely committed unspeakable atrocities. Break a history book.
Beth Miller, Head of Government Affairs for Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Told News week: it is “an undeniable fact that the United States and Israel have committed unspeakable atrocities, the victims of which are still awaiting justice”. She said members of Congress criticizing Omar “are using racist and Islamophobic tropes to attack” the representative from Minnesota “for asking our secretary of state for answers.
While the right wing vehemently opposes critiques of America’s racist and colonial history and present, lashing out at those who denounce American foreign policy is a bipartisan practice. This is yet another example.