Ilhan Omar implores Americans to ‘oppose Israeli military response’ to Hamas attacks

The Minneapolis Democrat issued a 12-tweet thread on Monday saying residents of Gaza are "victims of systematic apartheid," and the Israeli military response in Gaza amounts to a "war crime."

The Minneapolis Democrat issued a 12-tweet thread on Monday saying residents of Gaza are "victims of systematic apartheid." (Lorie Shaull/Flickr)

U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar took to social media on Monday imploring Americans to “oppose the Israeli military response” to the surprise attack that Hamas orchestrated on Israeli civilians over the weekend that is estimated to have killed more than 900.

“As the world is condemning Hamas’s attacks, we must also oppose an Israeli military response that has already taken the lives of hundreds of Palestinians, including nearly two dozen children,” Omar said as part of a 12-tweet thread she unfurled on Monday mid-afternoon.

She also alleged that Israel’s top military official called Palestinians “human animals,” which has been disputed by fact checkers on Twitter.

“This is collective punishment, a war crime, and the U.S. should oppose any violations of international law if we truly support a rules-based international order,” Omar continued.

Omar’s criticism of Israel was a departure from the public statements she and her congressional colleagues from Minnesota made over the weekend that condemned the violent Hamas attacks.

Rep. Betty McCollum issued a statement through her congressional office on Saturday that denounced the violence in Israel without naming Hamas. She said, “These appear to be serious acts of war, and war is never the answer.”

Both U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith issued strong statements on Saturday saying that America stands with Israel following what they characterized as terrorist attacks by Hamas.

Reps. Brad FinstadDean PhillipsAngie CraigTom EmmerMichelle Fischbach and Pete Stauber each issued their own statements strongly condemning the Hamas attacks and pledging support for Israel.

While Rep. Omar joined her congressional colleagues on Saturday in condemning the violence, she qualified her comments by adding, “Such senseless violence will only repeat the back and forth cycle we’ve seen, which we cannot allow to continue. We need to call for de-escalation and ceasefire. I will keep advocating for peace and justice throughout the Middle East.”

Then on Monday, the three-term Democrat who represents Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District engaged in a series of tweets describing the plight of residents in Gaza, which she said are victims of systematic apartheid, “and it must end.”

She also said that “targeting an entire civilian population will only sow more discord and perpetuate the cycle of violence.”

“Palestinians have few recourses for justice and accountability,” Omar continued. “Attacks by the IDF and settlers against Palestinians are regularly met with impunity. Efforts to seek justice in international courts are stonewalled by the Israeli government, with U.S. support.”

Those words were a stark contrast from those of her Democrat colleague Angie Craig.

“The images we are seeing out of Israel are heart wrenching and the stories of women and children enduring unspeakable horrors are unforgivable,” Craig, a three-term Democrat from Apple Valley, said in a tweet on Saturday. “There are not two sides when radical Iranian-backed terrorists indiscriminately attack the civilians of America’s strongest ally.”


Hank Long

Hank Long is a journalism and communications professional whose writing career includes coverage of the Minnesota legislature, city and county governments and the commercial real estate industry. Hank received his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, where he studied journalism, and his law degree at the University of St. Thomas. The Minnesota native lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and four children. His dream is to be around when the Vikings win the Super Bowl.