AIPAC attacks Ilhan Omar with Facebook ads over Israel criticism
US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has been the target of attack adverts on Facebook sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for her criticism of Israel's violence against Palestinians in East Jerusalem and its bombing of Gaza.
AIPAC’s paid advert on Facebook depicts the Somali-American lawmaker with rockets descending on Israel in the background. The ad falsely claims that Omar said that when Israel targets Hamas, it’s an "act of terrorism".
Omar had called Israeli airstrikes killing civilians in Gaza acts of terrorism, adding that Palestinians "deserve protection".
AIPAC has also targeted Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who has been a vocal critic of Israel’s recent military actions.
Omar called the adverts "desperate and deeply offensive".
"The rights of Palestinians and all people yearning for freedom and self-determination will not be ignored and no level of harassment will silence me or the millions of people demanding peace and justice", she responded on Twitter.
Leading Democrats also spoke out against the ads, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who described them as "deeply cynical and inflammatory ads twisting her words".
Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip entered its eleventh consecutive day on Thursday, amid a mounting death toll and attacks on essential infrastructure in the besieged enclave.
At least 231 Palestinians, including at least 64 children, have been killed in Gaza since the start of the Israeli bombardment which began on 10 May.
As Israel's campaign has claimed more lives, US Democrats have been increasingly vocal in their criticism, with AOC recently tweeting that "apartheid states aren’t democracies", in a post believed to be targeted at the Jewish state.
On Friday, Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib urged US lawmakers to condition aid to Israel as Palestinians are "being killed as the world watches".