WASHINGTON, D.C.—When Israel responded with airstrikes to over 600 rockets fired at them from Gaza, many defended this as a justified act of defense. Representative Ilhan Omar lashed out against this view, saying on Twitter about Israel, “If they’re so innocent, why are they Jews?”
Omar pointed out how many in Israel continue in the extremely hostile act of being Jewish, provoking all of the people around them. “They want people to feel sorry for them,” Omar said, “but they’re just out there, every day, being Jews. It’s almost like they’re taunting everyone.”
Representative Rashida Tlaib backed up Omar’s comments. “It’s a very provocative region to insist on being Jews,” she tweeted. “Couldn’t they find somewhere else to be Jews where it’s not so dehumanizing to the people around them?” When pressed on where she thought it would be okay for them to be Jewish, after a while Tlaib was only able to come up with “the moon.”
Many Republicans have condemned the statements, but Democrats have mostly remained silent, Speaker Nancy Pelosi claiming to have never heard of Representatives Omar and Tlaib.