A U.S. senator this week criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar after she claimed Israel was guilty of "terrorism" and questioned why the Jewish state had an "Iron Dome" and the Palestinians did not.
"She's out of her mind," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told Fox News.
Rubio was referencing a Tweet by Omar (D-Minn.), a frequent critic of Israel. She was one of 17 House members in 2019 to oppose a resolution that called Israel a "key ally" and denounce a prominent movement to boycott the Jewish state.
"Israeli air strikes (sic) killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism," Omar tweeted. "Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don't exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It's unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid."
Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 10, 2021
Palestinians deserve protection.
Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians.
It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid. https://t.co/vWWQfMqBkT
The Iron Dome is an air-defense system, partially funded by the United States, that intercepts rockets before they hit their target. Militants in Gaza have launched 1,369 projectiles toward Israel since Monday, according to the Times of Israel. The Iron Dome intercepted the overwhelming majority of rockets that were headed for populated areas.
"Number one, the Iron Dome wouldn't need to exist if it wasn't for Hamas and Hezbollah," Rubio told Fox News. "The reason it exists is because these terrorists have rockets, and they use it to try to kill Israelis. That's the reason why it exists.
"Number two is, the only response that you've seen from Israel is in response to these attacks, and they live in a very tough neighborhood, and they've made abundantly clear if you hit us, we're going to hit you back five times harder," Rubio said. "And Hamas knows that.
"This is a plan, OK? They do this knowing there's going to be a response, knowing that innocents are going to be killed and civilians are going to be killed," Rubio added. "They know it's going to happen, and they deliberately want it to happen so they can get tweets like that and people around the world to take up their cause."
Militants who target Israel, Rubio said, "have no problem putting the operation sites, the missile site, right next to a nursery or a hospital, or a residential building."
"And so, at the end, yeah, I don't care what happened on the ground in Jerusalem," Rubio said. "The response cannot be 1,000 rockets fired into civilian areas."
Hamas, he said, "pays bonuses" to the families of martyrs.
"They pay your family a stipend for the rest of their lives," Rubio said. "They pay them a martyr's benefit. If you go to jail for trying to kill or killing an Israeli, when you get out, they promise you a job. They promise you a pension. And they take care of your family while you're in there. They create financial incentive for these attacks."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.