Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is facing new criticism for retweeting a video last week from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a radical anti-Israel group that the Israeli government accuses of supporting terrorists.
Omar retweeted a video allegedly showing Israeli “forces” (apparently the Border Patrol, from their uniform patches) who are accused of having “violently snatched and detained” a Palestinian child. No date, place, or context was given.
It is not clear what was happening in the video, but Palestinian terrorists have been known to use children, and children’s school backpacks, to hide weapons, assuming they would not be searched, or that such searched would cause outrage.
The ISM has a very controversial history. In 2003, two British Muslims who had entered the country from Jordan, and met with the ISM, carried out a suicide bombing at Mike’s Place, a beachfront bar in Tel Aviv popular with Americans.
The Daily Mail (UK) reported on Sunday that the ISM “was once investigated by the FBI for alleged ties to terrorism.”
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says “the ISM is not a peaceful organization and its members should not be termed ‘peace activists.’ Members of the ISM actively have supported terrorists and interfere in legitimate defensive activities of the IDF [Israel Defense Forces].”
In 2002, the ISM attempted to assist the wanted terrorists who seized the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, desecrating this holy site. A senior Islamic Jihad terrorist, Shadi Sukiya, was hiding in the Jenin ISM office – with the assistance of ISM activists – when he was arrested in March 2003. Richard David Hupper, an ISM member, gave USD 20,000 to the internationally recognized terrorist organization Hamas while working for the ISM in Israel, resulting in his 2008 conviction by a US federal court.
The ISM website, which says that it recruits volunteers for “nonviolent” actions against Israel, also says that while it does not advise its potential volunteers to lie to Israeli border authorities, telling the truth could prevent their entry to Israel.
After defending her comment, Omar later issued a clarification:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) welcomed Omar’s clarification, and said Sunday that she had not been rebuked by the caucus, and remained a “valued member” of it.
The Republican Jewish Coalition began a social media campaign against Omar — and Pelosi — on Monday:
Omar serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has continued to do so despite numerous past controversies over her radical anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric.