“No one should be attacked for criticising AIPAC, certainly not the esteemed Congresswoman Omar. She should be lauded for differentiating between Jews and Zionists,” statement by anti-Zionist Jewish group Neturei Karta International says.
A delegation of Orthodox Jewish rabbis expressed solidarity on Wednesday with US Rep. Ilhan Omar after she was criticised for making "anti-Semitic" comments.
Members of the anti-Zionist Jewish group Neturei Karta International came to Omar's office in Washington saying they wanted to show their support for the freshman congresswoman.
"What she's saying is the voice of Judaism," Rabbi Dovid Feldman told reporters.
Feldman said that to confuse Judaism with Zionism and to accuse someone of being anti-Semitic because they oppose the occupation of Palestine or the oppression of the people "is revolting, unacceptable".
He also issued a statement expressing support for Omar and her stance on Israel.
“No one should be attacked for criticising AIPAC, certainly not the esteemed Congresswoman Omar. She should be lauded for differentiating between Jews and Zionists,” it said. “Judaism is a religion which teaches service of the Almighty, while Zionism attempts to transform Judaism into nationalism.”
Omar has once again become embroiled in controversy following her remarks criticising Israel’s influence on US foreign policy.
Her most recent comment came last week when she said US lawmakers are being confronted by "the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country", referring to Israel.
The remark received widespread and bipartisan backlash, with others in Congress labeling it as anti-Semitic. It also led to the introduction of a bill by the Democratic-controlled House of Representat ives to implicitly condemn Omar's comments.
Omar has apologised for similar things she said last month. This time, however, she doubled down on her comments, saying she has "not mischaracterised our relationship with Israel. I have questioned it, and that has been clear from my end".
Since her comments last week, an Islamophobic poster linking Omar to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US was placed in the West Virginia House of Delegates chamber, and an assassination threat was written on the wall of a men's bathroom at a gas station in Minnesota.