Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose comments on U.S. financial ties to Israel sparked claims of anti-Semitism, called for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a Washington Post op-ed published over the weekend.
“My goal in speaking out at all times has been to encourage both sides to move toward a peaceful two-state solution,” wrote Omar, a freshman lawmaker who supports Palestinian rights, in the column published on Saturday. “We need to reinsert this call back into the public debate with urgency. Both parties must come to the table for a final peace deal; violence will not bring us any closer to that day.”
Omar said she recognized the historical foundations of Israel, but pointed to the need for Palestinians to have a state of their own. “They, too, deserve freedom and dignity,” she wrote.
“A balanced, inclusive approach to the conflict recognizes the shared desire for security and freedom of both peoples,” Omar said, noting that a two-state solution has received bipartisan support in the U.S., as well as from Israelis and Palestinians.
The conflict has persisted, however, with negotiators unable to agree on such issues as borders and whether displaced Palestinians should have the right to return to their land.
According to Reuters, President Donald Trump has vacillated on a two-state approach. In September, he called it the “best” fix for the conflict, then later said one state would be fine if it was agreed upon by both peoples.
“I’m happy if they’re happy,” he said during a news conference at the time.
Omar, a refugee from Somalia, advocated for human rights in her op-ed, emphasizing the principles that drove her to seek public office and persuaded voters to elect her.
“Let us apply these universal values to all nations,” she said. “Only then will our world achieve peace.”