Representative Ilhan Omar said her choice of words in 2012, when she tweeted that “Israel has hypnotized the world” during the war with Gaza, was “unfortunate.”
PBS host Christiane Amanpour asked the Minnesota congresswoman Wednesday whether she regretted the statements she made then, and what she would say now to American Jews.
“I remember when that was happening, watching TV, and really feeling as if no other life was being impacted in this war,” Omar said. “Those unfortunate words were the only words I could think about expressing that moment.”
She continued: “What is really important to me is that people recognize that there is a difference between criticizing a military action by a government that has exercised really oppressive policies and being offensive or attack-y to particular people of faith.
Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 16, 2012
Referring to her pro-BDS stance, Omar said Israel is not the only country she has boycotted — she mentioned Saudi Arabia is another.
“To me it is important, when you see oppression taking place, when you regressiveness happen, when you see our values being attacked as humans, you must stand up,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who the inhibitors of that particular region might be. What matters is who is leading it. And we must address the kind of leadership that leads to a more unjust world, if we’re to actually express our values of peace and justice in the world.”