Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Ilhan Omar Says She Learned From — But Does Not Regret — Her Israel Comments

Representative Ilhan Omar said on CBS that she does not regret her past comments about Israel, but she “is grateful for the opportunity to really learn how my words make people feel.”

Omar, a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota, said in February that AIPAC paid politicians to be pro-Israel, a comment that was viewed as Anti-Semitic for accusing Jews of using their money to nefariously manipulate governments. Omar later apologized for her remarks.

When asked about it by CBS’s Gayle King, Omar compared it to something of a misunderstanding, saying that comments held different weight for people.

“So you don’t regret your words either?” King asked.

“I do not,” Omar said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to really learn how my words make people feel and have taken every single opportunity I’ve gotten to make sure that people understood that I apologize for it.”

King cut in to ask Omar if she would confirm that she’s not anti-Semitic.

Omar responded: “Yes and that nothing I said, at least to me, was meant for that purpose.”

Alyssa Fisher is a writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected]

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.