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.

Hi @bariweiss, You are correct when you say, “Perhaps Ms. Omar is sincerely befuddled and not simply deflecting” 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. pic.twitter.com/IxPScaSzGw
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 22, 2019

That statement came in the context of the Gaza War. It’s now apparent to me that I spent lots of energy putting my 2012 tweet in context and little energy is disavowing the anti-semitic trope I unknowingly used, which is unfortunate and offensive.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 22, 2019

With that said, it is important to distinguish between criticizing a military action by a government and attacking a particular people of faith. I will not shy away of criticism of any government when I see injustice —whether it be Saudi Arabia, Somalia, even our own government!
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 22, 2019

As a survivor of war, the acts of war justified or not will always be acts of evil to me. Like #MLK90, I unapologetically believe “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 22, 2019

It is important that when you see oppression taking place – when you see our values being attacked as humans – you stand up, and it doesn’t matter who the inhabitors of that particular region might be. Whether it is your father, your brother or your sister, you speak up.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 22, 2019

There are many narratives of who and what I am, designed to demonize and vilify me. It’s being building since my early days as an organizer. A concussion didn’t deter me and smears certainly won’t . I fought for my seat at the table & will use it to fight a more peaceful world!
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 22, 2019

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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