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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Omar Refuses to CONDEMN Armenian GENOCIDE, Tries to Shift Focus
TWISTS HISTORY! Votes 'present' on bill condemning Armenian genocide
Omar, in a statement explaining her vote of "present" on the resolution, also seemingly suggested that the century-old mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks may not have occurred at all. She asserted that "accountability and recognition of genocide should not be used as a cudgel in a political fight" but should instead "be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics."
"There's nothing wrong with asking that the U.S. government acknowledge human rights abuses here before we acknowledge them overseas," Jilani wrote. "The issue is, the U.S. government already did acknowledge the ones Omar is asking it to acknowledge. Didn't acknowledge the Armenian genocide at behest of Turkey."
Jilani added: "Congress has passed many resolutions condemning abuses against Native Americans and slavery. It has never passed a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide. That's why Ilhan Omar's explanation here rings hollow."
Other commentators were alternately perplexed and outraged by Omar's statement.
"Her explanation doesn’t cut it," said political scientist Ian Bremmer.
"Hard to square this approach with her support for BDS. Not a good look," wrote former George W. Bush administration official Christian Vanderbrouk, referring to Omar's support for the movement to boycott and sanction Israel for alleged human rights abuses.
Some opponents of the resolution have advanced different reasons from Omar -- arguing that formally recognizing the Armenian genocide risks angering Turkey, whose relationship is crucial to stability in the region.
GOP Rep. Paul Gosar and Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson also voted present.
Speaking on the House floor in support of the resolution, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said the resolution “is an important measure to set the record straight on the atrocities suffered by the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.”
"We know what happened in this dark period of history. Between 1915 and 1923, 1.5 million Armenians were murdered. This was a genocide — and it’s important that we call this crime what it was."
There have been no plans to bring the resolution up for a vote in the Senate. A second resolution on Tuesday, imposing severe sanctions on Turkish officials and prohibiting the sale of military arms to Turkey for use in Syria, passed in the House by a 403-16 vote.
Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report.