Hamas, the Gaza-based terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip, released a statement Friday thanking Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for "defending justice and the rights of the oppressed."
What did Omar say?
The Minnesota Democrat found herself in hot water this week after she lumped together the United States, Israel, Afghanistan, Hamas, and the Taliban as countries and organizations guilty of committing "unthinkable atrocities."
"We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban," Omar said Monday.
How did Hamas respond?
Despite approving of Omar's pro-Palestine stance, Hamas rebuked Omar for equating Israel and "U.S. aggression" to "the resistance of the Palestinian people," suggesting that Hamas is on the side of good and they should not be conflated with their enemies.
The statement read, in part:
The remarks made by US congresswoman Ilhan Omar are very peculiar; she equated between the victim and the executioner when she treated the resistance of the Palestinian people, the Israeli crimes in Palestine, and the US aggression in Afghanistan as an equal footing.
Hamas highly appreciates Omar's stances in support of justice and the rights of the oppressed around the world, foremost among them is the just rights of the Palestinian people. However, it is unacceptable to make such an unfair comparison, which contradicts with basic norms of justice and international law.
Not only did Omar's comments invoke condemnation from Republicans and, ironically, an actual terrorist group, but even Democrats — including party leadership — believe Omar's conflation of Israel and the U.S. with terrorists was unacceptable.
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) released a statement Wednesday along with 11 other House Democrats rebuking Omar's comparison.
"Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided. 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 statement said. "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."
In response, Omar accused her colleagues of engaging in islamophobia.
"It's shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for 'clarification' and not just call," Omar said. "The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable."
Omar later clarified her remarks.
"On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about ongoing International Criminal Court investigations," Omar said Thursday. "To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel. I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that no disciplinary action will be taken against Omar.