Sunny Hostin defended Rep. Ilhan Omar on “The View” on Monday, calling the backlash she’s received part of the GOP’s continued strategy of “attacking women of color” after some Republicans equated her comments about an International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by the U.S., the Afghan national government, the Taliban, Israeli security forces and Hamas to mean that she was equating the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban.
Omar’s controversial tweet was a follow-up to her June 7 exchange with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, where she asked him during a budget hearing about his opposition to an ICC investigation into alleged offenses committed in Afghanistan by the U.S., the Afghan national government, and the Taliban and in Palestine by Israeli security forces and Hamas.
When Blinken replied that the United States and Israel — which do not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC over their own forces — are sufficient to investigate themselves, Omar’s time was up before she could ask follow-up questions about the two relatively poor track record of such self-investigations.
“Where do we think victims are supposed to go for justice? And what justice mechanisms do you support?” she asked Blinken. Later that day, she posted about the exchange on Twitter.
But some conservatives, like Liz Wheeler, a former host on the far-right One America News Network, and Brigitte Gabriel, founder of the anti-Muslim organization ACT! for America, construed her comments to mean that Omar had “compared the U.S. to the Taliban.”
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, who is one three House Republicans named in a complaint brought by Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal over “their involvement in instigating and aiding the deadly attack at the Capitol that took place on January 6,” called for Omar to be expelled from Congress.
On Monday, a group of House Republicans introduced a resolution to condemn Reps. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley for what they call “defending terrorist organizations and inciting anti-Semitic attacks across the United States.”
Hostin defended Omar against her critics on Monday, saying, “This is just more of the same of the GOP’s strategy of attacking ‘the Squad,’ of attacking women of color, of attacking Ilhan Omar in particular. It’s evidence of their Islamophobia, it’s evidence of the fact that that they think she won’t be protected by her caucus.”
On June 9, a group of Jewish House Democrats argued that “equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided.”
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that House leaders hadn’t rebuked Omar for her comments.
“We did not rebuke her. We acknowledged that she made a clarification,” Pelosi told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “Congresswoman Omar is a valued member of our caucus. She asked her questions of the Secretary of State. Nobody criticized those, about how people will be held accountable if we’re not going to the International Court of Justice. That was a very legitimate question. That was not of concern.”
Hostin also suggested the GOP hold Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene responsible for her comments equating mask mandates to Jews being forced to wear yellow stars in the Holocaust.
“I wish I saw a lot more of that energy directed towards people like Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Hostin said, calling the disparate response of the GOP “the height of hypocrisy.”
Greene was recently in the news again after she apologized for the comments.
Omar clarified her comments last week, explaining, “To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.” She added, “I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”