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US Congress hopeful denies 'bigoted' claims of anti-Semitism

US congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Somali-born Muslim Ilhan Omar [Facebook]
US congresswoman Ilhan Omar in Washington [Facebook]

A candidate for US Congress has hit back at claims that comments she made about Israel are anti-Semitic.

In 2012, Somali-American Ilhan Omar accused Israel of "evil doings" during its campaign against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

"Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel," she wrote at the time.

The tweets have been highlighted as a result of her campaign to run as a candidate for Congress in Minnesota.

She has denied accusations of anti-Semitism.

Read: British L'Oreal model steps down after tweets criticising Israel uncovered

In an interview with ABC News for a segment titled "Progressive Democrats increasingly criticise Israel, and could reap political rewards," Omar said: "These accusations are without merit. They are rooted in bigotry toward a belief about what Muslims are stereotyped to believe."

On Twitter, in response to critics, Omar wrote: "Drawing attention to the apartheid Israeli regime is far from hating Jews."

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