Ilhan Omar labels Trump's new Iran sanctions as 'economic warfare', demands similar measures against Israel

Omar slammed the Iran sanctions for having caused human suffering but supported the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement

                            Ilhan Omar labels Trump's new Iran sanctions as 'economic warfare', demands similar measures against Israel
Ilhan Omar (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

It seems Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar never disappoints her critics. The Somalian-born lawmaker found herself in an odd position recently over her dual takes on supporting sanctions on other countries by the US. While Omar thinks President Donald Trump's imposition of new sanctions on Iran is not proper, she backs similar measures when it comes to Israel, a country for which she harbors a deep disdain. 

On January 8, Omar condemned Trump’s imposition of fresh sanctions on Iran as "economic warfare". She said this in response to the Republican's announcement of "additional punishing sanctions" on Tehran after Iran fired ballistic missile attacks on American forces stationed in Iraq on January 7. Washington’s relation with Tehran has hit a new low in the aftermath of the assassination of top Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani.


“This makes no sense. Sanctions are economic warfare. They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran,” the 38-year-old member of the ‘Squad’ said.

“You cannot claim to want deescalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal,” she added. “This is not a measured response!”

Omar is a big supporter of Israel's boycott

Omar, however, has a completely different take when it comes to imposing sanctions on Israel. She is, in fact, a strong supporter of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

In July, some months after she took over as a fresh Congresswoman, Omar introduced a resolution defending the movement and condemning the anti-BDS laws that have been passed in many states of the country. She said BDS tactics are backed by "American values" and protected by "first amendment rights".

The bill, according to Omar, was "an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement". The BDS' goal is to compel Israel to make concessions to Palestinians by stifling its economy, boycotting its products and encouraging corporations to divest their economic benefits from that country. 

The BDS movement also saw Omar inviting the Israelis' wrath. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barred a planned trip by Omar and Michigan Congresswoman Rashid Tlaib to visit Israel and Palestine last August for their support for the movement against Israel. tweeted on January 8 slamming Omar.
"According to #IlhanOmar, sanctions are a bad, bad thing. Except when it involves #Jews; then it's fair game. Is it any wonder this woman was voted our 2019 Antisemite of the Year?!" it said.

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