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12 Jewish Democrats call on Ilhan Omar to clarify remarks on US, Israel, Taliban

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WASHINGTON (JTA) – Twelve of the 25 Jewish Democrats in the US House of Representatives said the grouping of the United States and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas in remarks about pursuing war crimes prosecutions gives “cover to terrorist groups,” and called on their colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota to clarify her earlier statements.

“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” said the statement released late Wednesday and spearheaded by Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.”

“The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups,” the statement continued. “We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”

The statement came after a meeting of the unofficial Jewish Democratic caucus earlier in the day that discussed the tweet Omar posted on Monday.

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” she wrote. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

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