Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) participates in a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, US, April 10, 2019.
(photo credit: JIM BOURG/ REUTERS)
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar blasted US President Donald Trump and his supporters at a rally organized by Black Lives Matter on Tuesday in Washington.
"At this moment, the occupant of the White House... and his allies are doing everything that they can to distance themselves and misinform the public from the monsters that they created that are terrorizing the Jewish community and the Muslim community," the freshman Democrat from Minnesota stated.
"Because when we are talking about antisemitism we must also talk about Islamophobia. It is two sides to the same coin of bigotry," she said.
Born in Somalia, Omar is a Muslim American whose past comments have been accused of being antisemitic and anti-Israel. Her recent comments, that "some people did something" regarding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks
were deemed insensitive by many, including Trump.
US Special Envoy Jason D. Greenblatt defended Trump
days after a white supremacist attack in San Diego, insisting that the president "is not responsible for the hateful views or actions of every person that may claim to support him."
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post
, Greenblatt said "in discussing the persecution of the Jewish people shortly after the heinous attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, President Trump said, ‘We must stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat antisemitism and vanquish the forces of hate… Those seeking their destruction, we will seek their destruction.'"
But Omar and her supporters condemned Trump asserting "your vile attacks, your demented views are not welcome here... Jjust this week, when we've had the attack in California on a synagogue, it is the same person who is accused of attempting to bomb a mosque. So I can't ever speak of Islamophobia and fight for Muslims if I am not willing to fight against antisemitism. We collectively need to make sure that we are dismantling all systems of oppression," she said.
However many are calling Omar's statements disingenuous considering her past rhetoric and open support for BDS
“Ilhan Omar is a clever antisemite," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center last week in a Jerusalem Post interview
. “When an elected member of the US Congress retweets such a thing, that takes things to the next level,” he said regarding Omar's post that Jesus was a Palestinian.
Also attending Tuesday's rally was Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) whose parents are Palestinian Arabs and who also holds anti-Israel public statements. Angela Davis, a veteran counterculture activist with the Communist Party and Black Panther Party in the 1960s attended at well.