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GOP voters likelier to see antisemitism if they know Ilhan Omar made comment

Poll finds that shown social media post, 36% of Republican respondents say it’s antisemitic without knowing it’s by Democratic congresswoman, rising to 47% when told who wrote it

Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota at the Capitol in Washington, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota at the Capitol in Washington, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

JTA — Republican voters are much likelier to regard a statement grouping Israel with Hamas as antisemitic if they know Ilhan Omar said it, according to a poll published Wednesday.

Asked to assess a tweet by the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, 36 percent of Republican respondents to the Morning Consult/Politico poll said they saw it as antisemitic without knowing Omar said it. That rose to 47% for Republican respondents who were told it was Omar.

The June 7 tweet said, “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

Democrats were marginally less likely to think the statement was antisemitic if they were told Omar was being quoted. Among those who did not know Omar was being quoted, 31% said it was antisemitic, while 27% said the same if they were told Omar had said it.

Among voters overall, 31% thought it was antisemitic not knowing Omar had said it, while 35% thought it was antisemitic knowing she had said it.

The tweet set off days of tensions within the Democratic Party. Twelve Jewish lawmakers said it could be seen as covering for terrorism and asked Omar to clarify the statement. Omar did clarify what she meant, but also accused the Jewish Democrats of engaging in Islamaphobic tropes.

Omar explained that the tweet, which included a video of an exchange the same day with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, was challenging the Biden administration’s opposition to the International Criminal Court prosecuting alleged war crimes in the Gaza and Afghanistan conflicts, and was not likening Israel and the United States to the Taliban and Hamas.

Morning Consult said the June 11-13 poll of 1,994 voters had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

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