U.S. President Donald Trump defended himself from a torrent of criticism after telling a group of Democratic congresswomen to "go back" where they came from in a series of tweets on Sunday.
Trump tweeted later that day that it was "sad to see the Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion."
The president was referring to four Democrats in his earlier tweets: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.; Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
There is some truth to the president's remarks concerning their stance on Israel.
Omar created controversy in pro-Israel circles in February with an attack against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) claiming the pro-Israel lobbying group paid off politicians to support the Jewish state, an accusation that borrowed heavily on anti-Semitic tropes.
Omar's attack followed the revelation of an earlier tweet in 2012 in which she said that the Jewish state had "hypnotized the world" into supporting its positions. She has in addition voiced support for the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.
Omar also has ties to the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), speaking at an event for the group in March.
CAIR has defended terror groups. In May, Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelist Association, urged Trump to designate it as a terror organization, calling it a "mouthpiece in Washington for radical Islam."
Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, has also been outspoken against Israel. Most recently, in an interview published on Saturday by the journal Jacobin, she blasted the "dehumanization and racist policies by the state of Israel."
On her first day in office, Tlaib displayed a map with a note posted over Israel that read "Palestine."
Ocasio-Cortez, while not condoning Omar's comments about AIPAC, came to her defense when she was attacked. A fundraising drive on behalf of the New York congresswoman also claimed falsely that AIPAC was coming after her, Ha'aretz reported in March.
In April, the freshman Democrat said that cutting military and economic aid to Israel "is certainly on the table."
Most recently, Ocasio-Cortez caused a stir by comparing detention centers on America's southern border with concentration camps.
Pressley from Massachusetts is not considered anti-Israel. However, she did support, along with more than two dozen House members, a bill to prohibit American funds being used by Israel for the "military detention, interrogation or ill-treatment of Palestinian children."
The bill was proposed by Rep. Betty McCollum, a Minnesota Democrat, who has called Israel an "apartheid" state.
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