- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar apologized Tuesday for “unknowingly” perpetuating an “anti-Semitic trope” in a 2012 tweet that has faced renewed scrutiny since her election.

“Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel,” the freshman Minnesota Democrat, an open supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, tweeted in 2012.

Some critics said Mrs. Omar’s use of the word “hypnotized” invoked an anti-Semitic trope about a Jewish cabal having taken over the world.

The tweet remained active on Mrs. Omar’s account as of Tuesday afternoon.

The congresswoman has expressed regret for her wording in the tweet, but not the sentiment. In two separate interviews last week, she explained that criticizing a government is different than criticizing its people. She said as much in her statement Tuesday but expanded on her apology acknowledging that her use of the word “hypnotized” could be seen as anti-Semitic.

“In all sincerity, it was after my CNN interview that I heard from Jewish orgs. that my use of the word ‘Hypnotize’ and the ugly sentiment it holds was offensive,” she wrote.

Mrs. Omar was one of the first two Muslim women and the first Somali-American to be sworn into Congress this month. She sparked a backlash in November when she expressed her support for the BDS movement for the first time several days after her election.

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