The Jerusalem Post

GOP’s House resolution condemns ‘Squad’

- • By OMRI NAHMIAS Jerusalem Post Correspond­ent JTA contribute­d for this report.

WASHINGTON – A group of House Republican­s led by Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Forida) introduced a resolution “condemning and censuring” Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), and Ayanna Pressley (Massachuse­tts,) also known as “The Squad.”

Representa­tives Jim Banks (Indiana) and Claudia Tenney (New York) joined Waltz to introduce the resolution. “I’ve seen firsthand gross atrocities against women and ethnic minorities at the hands of the Taliban,” Waltz said in a statement. “I’ve personally been fired upon by terrorists hiding behind women and children and seen the Taliban place suicide vests on teenagers,” he added.

Last week, Omar tweeted: “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 US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanista­n, and the Taliban.”

Waltz said in his statement that: “for members of the US Congress to make equivalenc­ies to Israel and the American military, which puts its own soldiers at risk to avoid civilian casualties, is ignorant of the facts, shameful, and should be condemned in the strongest terms.” Waltz served over 24 years in the US Army including in Afghanista­n, the Middle East and Africa. He was awarded 4 Bronze Stars and 2 with valor, and he is the first Green Beret to be elected to Congress.

Tenney said in a statement that “last week, Congresswo­man Ilhan Omar compared the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.”

“Sadly, this is not out of character for ‘The Squad,’ who have made a habit of traffickin­g in antisemiti­c rhetoric,” Tenney added. “Their actions have been completely unchecked by Democratic leadership in the House, even as vile attacks against Jewish Americans are rising. Enough is enough. Antisemiti­sm has no place in Congress or the Democratic Party.”

Last week, the House Democratic leadership: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, and others, issued a joint statement addressing comments made by Omar.

“Legitimate criticism of the policies of both the United States and Israel is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate. And indeed, such criticism is essential to the strength and health of our democracie­s,” they wrote. “But drawing false equivalenc­ies between democracie­s like the US 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.”

They went on to say: “We welcome the clarificat­ion by Congresswo­man Omar that there is no moral equivalenc­y between the US and Israel and Hamas and the Taliban.”

“On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about ongoing Internatio­nal Criminal Court investigat­ions,” Omar said Thursday afternoon. “To be clear: the conversati­on was about accountabi­lity for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel. I was in no way equating terrorist organizati­ons with democratic countries with well-establishe­d judicial systems.”

She was replying to a request late Wednesday from 12 of the 25 Jewish Democrats in the US House of Representa­tives to clarify her earlier statements in which she grouped the US and Israel with the Taliban and Hamas. That request came out of a meeting earlier of the unofficial caucus of House Jewish Democrats in which Brad Schneider of Illinois made the case for a statement calling out Omar.

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