The Democratic Party Has Normalized Anti-Semitism

The Democratic Party Has Normalized Anti-Semitism

Yes, Ilhan Omar is a problem. The fact that Democrats refuse to condemn her rhetoric is a disaster.
David Harsanyi
By

This week, the Democratic Party was unable to pass a watered-down, platitudinous resolution condemning anti-Semitism, due to “fierce backlash” from presidential candidates, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the now-powerful progressive base. Rather than censuring Rep. Ilhan Omar, the intellectually frivolous, Hamas-supporting freshman representative from Minnesota, she was rewarded and inoculated from party criticism.

More consequently, the Democrats deemed Protocols of Zion-style attacks a legitimate form of debate. That’s because Omar, despite what you hear, has repeatedly attacked Jews, not only Israel supporters, and certainly not only specific Israeli policies.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who would finally bring an “All Lives Matter” resolution to the floor, told reporters she didn’t believe the congresswoman’s comments were “intentionally anti-Semitic.” No educated human believes Omar inadvertently accused “Benjamin”-grubbing Rootless Cosmopolitans of hypnotizing the world for their evil. These are long-standing, conspiratorial attacks on the Jewish people, used by anti-Semites on right and left, and popular throughout the Islamic world.

Even the Democratic Party activist groups that typically cover for the Israel-haters, like the Anti- Defamation League, have condemned Omar. Yet it was the lie that coursed through the Democratic Party’s defense of Omar.

Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren claimed that “branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has had a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians.” Either Warren believes that accusing Jews and their supporters of dual loyalty and sedition is a legitimate criticism of Israel, or she is deliberately mischaracterizing Omar’s comments to gain favor with the growing faction of anti-Semites in her party.

“We must not,” the socialist Bernie Sanders argued, “equate anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel” because such a thing would be “stifling” debate. Does anyone believe that if left-of-center Kahol Lavan were running Israel, Omar would be less inclined to smear the bipartisan squishes at AIPAC?

Omar has mentioned Benjamin Netanyahu (who, incidentally, is in every way more of a genuine liberal than either Sanders or Omar) once in her Twitter feed, and then only to use this very talking point to defend her comments. As a political matter, no major party in Israel is going allow an independent Palestinian state run by theocrats and terrorists to exist, so Omar and her allies will never be appeased.

Of course, no one argues that Omar’s speech should be curtailed or stifled. The same can’t be said of her defenders, however, who not only falsely claim criticism of her tropes is “chilling speech,” but also decided to transform this 38-year-old firebrand into a helpless, childlike victim.

“We all have a responsibility to speak out against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and all forms of hatred and bigotry, especially as we see a spike in hate crimes in America,” said Sen. Kamala Harris, who, like many Democrats, tried to dilute criticism of anti-Semitism in a torrent of phobias. “But like some of my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, I am concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk.”

We shouldn’t exaggerate the prevalence of hate crimes in America, which is low, but it’s certainly worth pointing out that Jews are the target of 60 percent of those crimes—a far larger percentage than anyone else. In New York City, there have been at least 36 hate crimes against Jews so far this year so far. Shouldn’t Harris be more concerned about Omar’s rhetoric?

As Gad Saad noted yesterday, Omar’s brand of Israel criticism “is almost ALWAYS a cover of existential and definitional Jew-hatred.” This anti-Israel sentiment—opposition to the idea of a national Jewish state—is the most consequential form of anti-Semitism that exists in the world today. It has done more to undermine Jewish safety than all the dog whistles and white nationalist marches combined. Yet, many Democrats have now seemingly joined Corbynites and leftists around the world perpetuating this radicalism.

The normalization of Omarism is a long time coming. Omar’s defenders have been praising and participating in the Women’s March, led by Louis Farrakhan acolytes who believe Jewish people bear a special collective responsibility “as exploiters of black and brown people,” since Trump was elected. But it goes even further back.

When leaving the CBC meeting, “members formed a circle around Omar and Marcia Fudge literally stuck her arm out to prevent reporters from asking her questions. Then a few members hugged Omar, including Al Lawson.” It is unsurprising that Omar, who has great trouble answering simple questions, has the CBC running interference for her hatred. At least seven members of the CBC—a group seemingly immune from criticism—have coordinated and worked with Farrakhan, the anti-Semite preacher who believes “satanic” Jews are “termites” who “deserve to die.” Liberals keep telling me Farrakhan is just a conservative boogeyman, and yet his contingent is growing as Omar and allies like Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez join the ranks.

Democrats’ allies in media quickly came to Omar’s rescue, as well. The Washington Post ran three articles after Omar’s initial comments this week. All three defended her. “Want to combat hate? Stop the hazing of Ilhan Omar and start listening” wrote Wajahat Ali and Rabia Chaudry. Not only shouldn’t Jews censure Omar, the authors argued, they should shut up and listen to her wisdom. In the progressive worldview, Jews, who are successful and predominately white, should put up with a little bigotry for the common good.

As Rep James Clyburn (D-SC), who once also shared a stage with Farrakhan, noted, Omar should be given a free pass because she fled Somalia. “There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors.’ ‘My parents did this.’ It’s more personal with her,” he explained. It’s personal to hate Jews when you fled Somalia? The number of people defending Omar on the risible grounds that Muslims should be immune from criticism isn’t surprising when you realize that identity politics demands strict adherence to the hierarchy of victimhood.

When New York Times reporters Sheryl Gay Stolberg (whose article in the aftermath of Omar’s dual loyalty remarks asked if Jewish people had too much power in Washington) and Glenn Thrush (who may or may not be taking diction from the Democratic National Committee) authored a piece about the resolution fight, they spent a large chunk of their space letting everyone know that President Donald Trump—whose daughter converted to Judaism and who moved the American embassy to Jerusalem and who stopped coddling the world’s most dangerous anti-Jewish terror-state—had also used anti-Semitic tropes.

While it’s not worth again debunking the fact that Trump never said neo-Nazis were “very fine people” or pointing out that most of the Jews at the Republican Jewish Coalition laughed at his jokes, it is worth mentioning that Democrats have embraced the worst kind of “whataboutism.”

NBC’s News’ Chuck Todd, in his “I’m obsessed with” segment, offered a jaw-droppingly misleading lecture accusing both parties of having an anti-Semitism problem by comparing elected officials like Omar and Tlaib — who have been embraced by their party, take part in policy making, and now widely defended on the mainstream left — to a fringe Nazi murderer who shot up a Pittsburgh synagogue, whom not a single Republican supports and has nothing to do with the GOP. The very fact that Todd was forced to shoehorn these comparisons is revealing.

In truth, Pelosi’s first watered-down resolution would have passed with most Republicans voting for it, and a number of Democrats defecting. This would have been embarrassing. So she promised to dilute it, and even that wasn’t enough for Democrats. Now, leadership is poised to pass some pointless resolution condemning all hatred.

Omar, an intellectual lightweight, is certainly a problem for America. But the fact that Democrats apparently believe what she says is fine is an absolute disaster.

David Harsanyi is a Senior Editor at The Federalist. He is the author of the book, First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History with the Gun, From the Revolution to Today. Follow him on Twitter.

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