Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., issued a strong rebuke of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership for their statement calling out fellow Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar for her comments involving Israel.
“Freedom of speech doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress,” Tlaib tweeted Thursday shortly after Pelosi and Democratic leaders issued a statement critical of Omar. “The benefit of the doubt doesn’t exist for Muslim women in Congress. House Democratic leadership should be ashamed of its relentless, exclusive tone policing of Congresswomen of color.”
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Tlaib and Omar were the first Muslim women elected to Congress in 2018 and, along with other members of the progressive Squad, have been more critical of Israel, especially during the recent 11-day conflict with Hamas that left more than 250 dead, the vast majority Palestinians.
The Squad rallied around Omar Thursday as fellow Democrats, including House leadership, have lined up to condemn Omar for comments they perceived as comparing U.S. and Israeli “war crimes” to actions by the Taliban and Hamas.
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Pelosi and senior Democratic leaders issued a unified statement Thursday, denouncing Omar’s comments.
“[T]here is no moral equivalency between the U.S. and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban,” the Democratic leaders said Thursday.
The Democratic leadership said they “welcome” the “clarification” Omar released earlier in the day after the Minnesota Democrat was met with a flood of criticism.
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“To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC (International Criminal Court) cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel,” Omar said Thursday of her remarks.
“I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems,” she added.
The immense backlash came after the congresswoman questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee about ICC investigations into U.S. and Israeli actions in Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.
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She later posted a tweet of their exchange and said, “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.”
A group of Democrats pounced on her comments as “offensive” and “misguided.”
Omar initially defended her statements as asking legitimate questions about how war crime victims can get justice and called out her colleagues for piling on.
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“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 in a tweet early Thursday before her clarifying statement. “The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.