[Photo Credit: By Chad Davis from Minneapolis, United States - U.S. Rep Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush Line 3, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=125286595]
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) came under fire on Monday from a progressive Democratic lawmaker who frequently supports her for adopting stances that “would have led to even more dead Israelis and more dead Palestinians.”
Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) responded to a remark made by Omar on Friday in which she challenged him, in reference to his support for Israel in its conflict with the terrorist organization Hamas, “How many more killings is enough for you?”
“Is it 1,000 more, 2,000 more, 3,000? How many more Palestinians would make you happy if they died? Would you be fine if all of the people of Gaza were gone? Would that make you happy? Would that be the thing that makes you proud? And maybe that’s the question you should ask Ritchie: How many more Palestinian lives is he comfortable with?” Omar asked at a press conference.
“I obviously resent those comments. You know, every casualty is a tragedy. Every war is a humanitarian crisis.” Torres said during a recent interview with CNN.
“But we have to keep in mind the causes of the war. Israel did not start the war. The war was imposed upon Israel by the barbaric terrorism of Hamas, which butchered 1,400 Israelis, including babies,” he continued.
Omar’s vote record opposing financing for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system was then also brought up by Torres.
“Were it not for Iron Dome interceptions, there would be far more dead Israelis, far more, by orders of magnitude,” he said.
Torres also took to Instagram to blast Omar for her position on Israel:
“Congress Member Ilhan Omar falsely accused me of being ‘happy’ about the death of Palestinians. It is the most vicious lie that one can tell about a colleague,” he said in an Instagram post.
“Congress Member Omar voted against Iron Dome, which (a) protects Israeli Jews and Arabs from thousands of rockets and (b) deescalates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saving both Israeli and Palestinian lives. Given Congress Member Omar’s opposition to Iron Dome, one must ask: how many Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, and Palestinians must die from endless rocket fire and escalated conflict before she summons the moral decency to support Iron Dome?” he concluded.
The conflict between the two Congressional Progressive Caucus members highlight the divisions within the Democratic Party about support for Israel.