Simmering hostilities within the House Democratic caucus bubbled up once again in response to a statement by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) considered by many in her party to be anti-American and antisemitic.
Her remark prompted condemnation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others on the Democratic leadership team, which in turn sparked furious pushback from Capitol Hill’s so-called “Squad” on Capitol Hill, a group of progressive lawmakers that includes Omar.
“The same level of accountability”
According to PJ Media, the left-wing response essentially accused Pelosi and other top-ranking Democrats of being Islamophobic.
The controversy erupted on Monday after Omar’s questioning of Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the topic of the International Criminal Court and its investigations into alleged war atrocities and crimes against humanity.
In a tweet that also contained a video of her questions, the congresswoman wrote: “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.”
Her statement was interpreted as an implication that actions by the U.S. and Israel were comparable to the attacks organized by violent terrorist organizations.
Initially, 12 Jewish Democrats issued a joint statement denouncing the rhetoric and demanding a clarification from the Minnesota Democrat.
“Undermines progress toward a future of peace”
While Omar did issue a subsequent statement clarifying that she was not making a direct comparison, it was not enough to silence the intraparty criticism.
Pelosi and her leadership team stepped in with a statement clearly designed to quell the infighting.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) released the declaration, which stated in part that “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.”
That statement only served to invite additional recrimination from Squad members including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Cori Bush (D-MO).
It remains to be seen whether the recent Democratic dustup will simmer down in the near term, but it remains clear that Pelosi is attempting to tamp down a cauldron of tension and mistrust that could easily threaten her party’s agenda and tenous grasp on a legislative majority.