Saturday, June 12, 2021

Unnecessarily Inflammatory

It was a shoddy bit of bothsiderism. However, it still would have been a fairly innocuous, even forgettable question of a Secretary of State about domestic courts and the International Criminal Court.

Instead of passing harmlessly into history

Tensions among Democrats over Israel grew Thursday after a group of 12 Jewish Democratic lawmakers criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) over a tweet she wrote that seemed to equate the actions of the United States and Israel with those of Hamas and the Taliban, calling it “offensive” and demanding she “clarify” her words.

Omar said her comments were misconstrued and that she was not suggesting a moral equivalency. She and other Democratic women of color in the House accused their colleagues of advancing Islamophobia and, in one case, “anti-blackness” in their public chastising of the lawmaker.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and her Democratic leadership team addressed Omar’s comments in a joint statement, saying that equating the United States and Israel and terrorist groups such as Hamas and the Taliban “foments prejudice.” They said they welcomed Omar’s clarification.....

"Clarification" seems to have replaced "walk back" in instances in  such instances, though Omar's statement was no clarification. Prior to Omar amending her original statement

The Jewish Democrats, led by Rep. Bradley Schneider of Illinois, released a joint statement late Wednesday denouncing Omar’s tweet.

“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” they wrote. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.

“The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups. We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words placing the US and Israel in the same category as Hamas and the Taliban.”

Later, Omar did offer a clarification, saying she was not making “a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.”

If Wikipedia is accurate, there actually are 21 Jewish members of the House of Representatives, which suggests that there are several who curiously believe the USA and Israel act in a similar fashion to Hamas and the Taliban. Or they feared criticizing a colleague.

The questioning of the Secretary Blinken by Representative Omar probably would have gone unnoticed and not become an incident if the congresswoman had not unwisely issued the tweet. It was there, and only there, that she reprehensibly stated "We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. " Notwithstanding Omar's claim, that is making "a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel." Failure to substantiate a comparison does not obviate the effort.

Ilhan Omar isn't the first politician to express on Twitter something stupid, bigoted, or untethered to reality. Some public figures evidently think that Twitter is a platform upon which their most unacceptable thoughts can be harmlessly disclosed.

Presumably, most politicians have a social media director responsible for posting tweets. However, they need to realize that  what's posted there is there, and is there until and unless it's deleted, which will not be before a critic(s) takes a screenshot. Individuals are accountable for their use of social media.and ultimately their remarks may expose they themselves as loathsome. Of this, someone as acquainted with anti-Semitism as Ilhan Omar should be keenly aware.

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