Ilhan Omar has hit back at the daughter of former US Vice President Dick Cheney, accusing her of Islamophobia after the Republican congresswoman spoke of “vile anti-Semitism” in Omar’s Democratic Party.
Fellow Democrat and Muslim-American congresswoman Rashida Tlaib came under fire over the weekend after saying Palestinians had provided Jewish refugees with a “safe haven” after the Holocaust.
“There’s always kind of a calming feeling when I think of the tragedy of the Holocaust, that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence, in many ways, has been wiped out … in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews,” Tlaib said in an interview on the Skullduggery podcast.
Palestinian-American congresswoman Tlaib has since faced a barrage of accusations from US Republicans and Israelis who claimed the congresswoman had called the Holocaust “calming” in the “anti-Semitic” interview.
Among those critics was Liz Cheney, a Republican congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cheney called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to counter “vile anti-Semitism” in the Democratic Party.
When Hoyer defended Tlaib’s comments and urged Republicans to apologise for taking her words “out of context”, Cheney accused Democratic Party leaders of “enabling” anti-Semitism.
Cheney later directly accused Tlaib of “spreading lies” to “delegitimise the state of Israel”.
Omar slammed Cheney for over the accusations, accusing her of Islamophobia.
“Give it up, we all know you never met a Muslim you didn’t want to vilify!” the Somali-American congresswoman said in a tweet on Monday.
“Your deep seeded [sic] hate and Islamophobia might be a tool to rally your base, but won’t get rid your colleagues.”
Tlaib also hit back at Cheney’s accusations.
“Congresswoman Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself for using the tragedy of the Holocaust in a transparent attempt to score political points,” Tlaib said in a statement on Sunday.
“Her behaviour cheapons our public discourse and is an insult to the Jewish community and the millions of Americans who stand opposed to the hatred being spread by Donald Trump’s Republican Party.”
Anti-Semitism rows over Palestine
Both Omar and Tlaib have faced accusations of anti-Semitism over their support for the Palestinian cause.
Omar in particular faced extreme pressure after criticising the influence of the Israel lobby in US politics and has even faced death threats after President Donald Trump tweeted out a video of her spliced with footage of the 9/11 attacks.
Supporters of the Muslim-American congresswomen have called such accusations Islamophobic.
Earlier this month, Cheney accused Omar of “rushing to the defence” of Hamas “terrorists” after the congresswoman responded to a recent flare-up of violence in the besieged Gaza Strip.
“How many more protesters must be shot, rockets must be fired, and little kids must be killed until the endless cycle of violence ends?” Omar had said in a tweet.
The Republican congresswoman previously accused Omar of “anti-Semitic hate and bigotry” in a March tweet, and both Omar and Tlaib of holding “anti-Semitic views” in a February tweet.