Rep. Ilhan Omar Says She Doesn’t Regret Israel Comments

July 17, 2019 Updated: July 17, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar was recently asked by CBS anchor Gayle King about comments that many have described as anti-Semitic.

Omar (D-Minn.) told King that her comments were not intended to be anti-Semitic.

“Oftentimes there are things that you might say that would not hold weight for you, but to someone else, right, the way we hear and consume information is very different from how the next person might be. Nothing I said was meant for that purpose,” she claimed.

King then asked her if she has regrets about her remarks.

“I do not, but I am grateful for the opportunity to really learn how my words have made people feel and take every opportunity I have to make sure people understand that I apologize for it,” Omar added.

Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 15, 2019 in Washington, D.C. President Donald Trump stepped up attacks on the four progressive Democratic congresswomen, saying that if they’re not happy in the U.S., “they can leave.” (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

In the interview, the freshman Democrat said she “certainly” isn’t an anti-Semite.

However, she has come under fire for several controversial social media posts. “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” she wrote in 2012, as reported by the New York Times.

Later, in February of this year, she accused some politicians who supported Israel of having dual loyalty to the United States and Israel.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” Omar said in February 2019.

Omar also suggested that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), paid lawmakers for their support of Israel. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers condemned her remarks before she apologized. She wrote that AIPAC’s alleged influence in politics is “all about the Benjamins.”

Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) in March issued a statement to apologize to Jewish constituents for her remarks.

Rep. Max Rose apologized to his Jewish constituents for Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-semitic comments. (United States House of Representatives and Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“As a young congressman, I’ve got to tell you I’m sorry,” Rose told the audience gathered by the Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO), reported the Jewish Insider. “You sent me to Congress to take responsibility. You sent me to Congress to have your back … and I failed you. Because I know that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s comments really caused you all a lot of pain by bringing up anti-Semitic tropes.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also sent a message to Omar in March, in reference to her “Benjamins” statement, saying: “From this Benjamin, it’s not about the Benjamins!”

“It’s because America and Israel share a love of freedom and democracy,” Netanyahu said. “It’s because we cherish individual rights and the rule of law.” “We don’t judge people by the color of their skin, their religion, or their sexual orientation,” he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump walks down the Cross Hall following a Made in America event with U.S. manufacturers in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, July 19, 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump also previously spoke out against Omar’s remarks, describing them as terrible and didn’t “think her apology was adequate.”

“She should be ashamed of herself,” he said, reported The Hill. Later, Trump called the Democrats “an anti-Jewish party” and an “anti-Israel party.”

Transcript of CBS Interview with Omar

Omar: Often times there are things that you might say might not hold weight for you but to someone else the way that we hear and consume information is very different from how the next person might.

King: So you don’t regret your words either?

Omar: I do not. But I have gotten the — 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. I never really wanted them to —

King: Would you like to make it clear that you are not anti-Semitic?

Omar: Oh, certainly not.

King: Would you like to make that clear?

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

Epoch Times reporter Janita Kan contributed to this report.

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