WASHINGTON – Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar gave multiple interviews to a fringe Arab-American television host, Ahmed Tharwat, who calls Israel the “Jewish ISIS” and has compared the terrorist group Hamas to Holocaust victims.
Omar blamed “our involvement in other people’s affairs” for terrorism in a 2013 interview with Tharwat.
“When are we gonna decide or realize that terrorism is a reaction? It’s an ideology, it’s a means of things, it’s not an entity, it’s not a place, people. It’s a reaction to a situation,” Tharwat said in the interview, which Fox News uncovered on Monday.
“Yes. What you’re insinuating is what nobody wants to face,” Omar replied. “Nobody wants to face how the actions of the other people that are involved in the world have contributed to the rise of the radicalization and the rise of terrorist acts.”
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“Usually most people want to not look internal and see what their actions that makes another react. For us, it’s always ‘I must have not done anything. Why is it happening to me?’ Nobody wants to take accountability of how these are byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs,” she added.
Omar’s comments came weeks after Somali terrorist group al-Shabab killed 67 people in a September 2013 attack on a Kenyan shopping mall. The terrorist organization has previously targeted recruiting efforts at the large Somali-American population in Minnesota.
Omar gave another interview to Tharwat at a January 2017 Women’s March event, despite the host’s history of radical rhetoric.
Tharwat has repeatedly described the Israeli government as a terrorist organization, including referring to it as “Jewish ISIS.”
“Zionism is terrorism,” Tharwat wrote in one tweet that described Israeli soldiers as the “Jewish Taliban.” In another tweet, he wrote: “An antisemitic person these days, is not someone who hates the jew, it is someone hated by the jews.”
“Blaming Hamas for Israeli atrocities, is like blaming the Jew for the Holocaust,” Tharwat wrote in a July 2014 tweet.
After the US began bombing ISIS targets in August 2014, Tharwat wrote on Twitter: “Obama should start bombing the Jewish state of Israel.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation has reached out to Tharwat and Omar’s office for comment.
Omar has come under fire for some of her own statements since taking office in January.
In an interview last month, she said she “almost chuckle[s]” when Israel is upheld as “a democracy in the Middle East.”
In another tweet, she ominously accused Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham of being “compromised.” She faced criticism in December after mocking Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith.