By Sohaila Barghash
After Ilhan criticised Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, disagreement within the Democratic Party has increased.
Earlier this month, the House passed a resolution that condemned hate in general, including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination.
This comes amid another controversy sparked by Omar, who said at an event, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Published Sunday, in a Washington Post op-ed, she called for a “balance, inclusive approach” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar has stated, “My goal in speaking out at all times has been to encourage both sides to move toward a peaceful two-state solution. We need to reinsert this call back into the public debate with urgency. Both parties must come to the table for a final peace deal; violence will not bring us any closer to that day.”
Meanwhile, she emphasized the fact that she recognized the historical foundations of Israel, saying, “The founding of Israel 70 years ago was built on the Jewish people’s connection to their historical homeland, as well as the urgency of establishing a nation in the wake of the horror of the Holocaust and the centuries of anti-Semitic oppression leading up to it.”
Yet she also added, “We must acknowledge that this is also the historical homeland of Palestinians. And without a state, the Palestinian people live in a state of permanent refugee-hood and displacement. This, too, is a refugee crisis, and they, too, deserve freedom and dignity.”
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is deeply-rooted, as issues on territory control and division are fundamental to the prevention of a two state solution.
Israel does not recognize the Palestinians’ right to return after being forced to abandon their homes and lands in what is now recognized as Israel and the territories occupied by it, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
On September, President Donald Trump claimed to support a two-state solution, however, he later announced his undivided support to Israel, recognising Jerusalem as its capital.
Omar, a refugee from Somalia and one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, wrote urging the US to give value to human rights equally among “our friends and our enemies”, stressing that this means applying the same standards to all, and reject the “blind eye to repression” in Saudi Arabia.
Omar has been a vocal supporter of Palestinian Rights as she continued to express her rejection to Israeli policies, from West Bank settlements to the lobbying influence of AIPAC.
In her new op-ed, she advocated for “peace and respect for human rights”, the same values that motivated her to run for office and persuade Minnesotans to elect her.
Ilhan Omar wrote: “I believe in an inclusive foreign policy — one that centers on human rights, justice and peace as the pillars of America’s engagement in the world, one that brings our troops home and truly makes military action a last resort. This is a vision that centers on the experiences of the people directly affected by conflict, that takes into account the long-term effects of U.S. engagement in war and that is sincere about our values regardless of short-term political convenience.”
Ilhan Omar concluded by saying: “Let us apply these universal values to all nations. Only then will our world achieve peace.”