After squabbling between the ever-controversial members of the Squad and members of their own party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has weighed in.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., sparked controversy for comparing the terrorist group Hamas to Israel and the U.S. to kick off the issue.
“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” Rep. Omar said on Twitter. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. “I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice.”
Pelosi has now spoken out about the “legitimate criticism” of Rep. Omar’s comments.
“Legitimate criticism of the policies of both the United States and Israel is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate. And indeed, such criticism is essential to the strength and health of our democracies,” Pelosi said in a joint statement with Democratic leadership. “But drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all.”
Before Pelosi weighed in, several members of her own party lambasted her for the comments in a joint statement.
“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” the Democrats said in a joint statement. “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. We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”
That sparked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., another member of the squad who has taken heat for her own set of controversial comments, to quickly come to Rep. Omar’s defense after the comments.
She blasted Democrats for attacking one of their own.
“Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus,” AOC wrote on Twitter. “They have no concept for the danger they put her in by skipping private conversations & leaping to fueling targeted news cycles around her.”