People Are Furious As Ilhan Omar Does Not Vote To Recognize And Condemn Armenian Genocide

Congress was nearly unanimous in voting to recognize the historical genocide of 1.5 million Armenians except for Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and two other members.

The Minnesota representative ultimately did not vote to recognize it; instead, she voted “present” and blamed the United States’ history of abuses in her reasoning.

BizPac Review reports Omar also disapproved of the timing of the vote as she claims it is being used to make a statement against Turkey for their invasion of Northern Syria:

In defending her widely panned decision, the congresswoman released a statement accusing her congressional peers of trying to use the genocide of 1.5 million people as a “cudgel” against Turkey, and suggesting that she’d only condemn Turkey’s genocidal actions if Congress first condemned the United States.

In a statement shared with CNN, Omar said America should first recognize its own “mass slaughters.”

“I believe accountability for human rights violations — especially ethnic cleansing and genocide — is paramount,” Omar said. “But accountability and recognition of genocide should not be used as a cudgel in a political fight. It should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics.”

“A true acknowledgment of historical crimes against humanity must include both the heinous genocides of the 20th century, along with earlier mass slaughters like the transatlantic slave trade and Native American genocide, which took the lives of hundreds of millions of indigenous people in this country. For this reason, I voted ‘present’ in the final passage,” Omar continued.

Several people online, including people who previously defended Omar against claims of anti-Semitism, criticized the vote and her reason.

“This is bulls–t,” Eli Valley, a cartoonist, tweeted. “The genocide is a historical fact, and regardless of why it passed today, it’s ludicrous to demand that a century-delayed resolution encompass every other atrocity known to humankind before it can gain approval.”

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes described Omar of acting for show but failing to stand up when it matters: “The defense Rep. Omar and her supporters have against her critics is that she’s been unsparing in taking on various foreign policy shibboleths and speaking truth to power about human rights infractions of various US allies, infractions often swept under the rug for real politique.”

Here are even more responses:

Omar tried to clarify her stance in a tweet where she said: “of course we should acknowledge the Genocide.”