Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mn) is under scrutiny from Republicans for comments she made on Tuesday, suggesting Israel’s responsibility for the hospital explosion in Gaza, even as Israel denies any involvement.
Later, on Tuesday, Omar shared her concerns, tweeting, “Targeting a hospital is a serious violation of humanitarian law. Reports of the IDF destroying one of the few medical facilities during a conflict are deeply troubling. @POTUS should advocate for an immediate ceasefire to halt further casualties.”
On Wednesday evening, Omar clarified her earlier tweet, noting it was based on preliminary information. She added that the Israel Defense Forces and the U.S. have since stated that Israel did not hit the hospital.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ilhan Omar have been outspoken critics of Israel’s policies. Tlaib, in 2019, condemned what she termed as Israel’s “oppressive & racist policies.”
In the same year, a tweet from Omar drew attention and criticism for potentially linking support for Israel to financial incentives, a stereotype often linked with anti-Semitism. Omar subsequently apologized for her remarks.
Upon the initial news of the explosion, Tlaib took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to express her distress, stating, “The Baptist Hospital was bombed, resulting in the tragic loss of 500 lives, including doctors, children, and patients.
@POTUS, this is when efforts to facilitate a ceasefire and de-escalation are not prioritized. This lack of action has deeply affected many Palestinian Americans and Muslim Americans, including myself. We’ll remember the stance taken.”
While some colleagues and members of the congressional leadership have accused Tlaib and Omar of making antisemitic remarks, they have maintained that their criticisms are based on the right to free speech and advocacy for Palestinian rights. It’s worth noting that the critiques against Tlaib and Omar have also been scrutinized for potentially being rooted in Islamophobia or racism.
On Wednesday, Tlaib participated in a demonstration urging a ceasefire in Gaza. The event, organized by the progressive group Jewish Voice for Peace, took place at the National Mall. An emotional Tlaib took moments during her speech to express her deep feelings, lamenting the delay in implementing a ceasefire resolution in Congress.