Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Thursday defended a comment in which she criticized Israel years before and said she hoped people would see the country’s “evil doings.”
In 2012, Omar posted a tweet regarding the Gaza War, where the Israeli Defense Force launched a week-long offensive on the Gaza Strip, leaving 174 Palestinians dead, according to the United Nations.
“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel,” said Omar.
The tweet resurfaced in an on-air interview with CNN, where she defended her comment.
“I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans,” Omar told CNN. “My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza war, and I am clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war.”
Omar, alongside Rep. Rashida Tlaib, are the first two Muslim women to serve in U.S. Congress.
The representatives have been outspoken about their criticism of Israel, and have expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement which demands a boycott of Israeli companies involved in human rights violations, until the situation for Palestinians improves.
While serving in the Minnesota legislature, Omar also reportedly voted against a bill trying to prohibit companies from doing business with entities engaging in a boycott of Israeli products.