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Hyperventilating About Kanye Can’t Hide The Left’s Antisemitism Double Standard

The Squad, Nancy Pelosi, AOC, llhan Omar
Image CreditRolling Stone/YouTube

The left ‘handles’ their haters by coddling them.


Focusing on recent comments from Kanye West, Donald Trump, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, New York magazine columnist Jonathan Chait writes that there’s no comparison between how the two political parties handle antisemitism. Chait, you won’t be surprised to learn, minimizes the anti-Jewish strain infecting factions of the left and wildly overstates the antisemitism on the right.

Chait begins by reminding us that Ilhan Omar once said some “ugly things,” by which he means “Protocols of Zion”-style conspiracies about Jews’ supernatural ability to hypnotize the world for “evil.” Even “more significant,” he goes on, is what happened next: Omar apologized (as did Taylor Greene, so what?). He then points out that Democrats “voted for a House resolution denouncing ‘the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and foreign allegiance, especially in the context of support for the United States–Israel alliance’ as a form of antisemitism.” I wonder why they had to do that?

Let’s recall that the first revelations of Omar’s antisemitism brought no real rebuke. Long after everyone knew about Omar’s outlook on Jews, Nancy Pelosi appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone’s “women shaping the future” issue. It wasn’t until Omar alleged that Jewish “political influence in this country” was pushing “allegiance to a foreign country,” that there was any left-wing backlash — and then, almost exclusively from Jewish Democrats. And, yes, Omar’s party voted for a House resolution mentioning Alfred Dreyfus and Leo Frank, and denouncing anti-Japanese discrimination during World War II, Islamophobia, and the America First Committee, but not the Minnesotan. Of course Omar voted for a diluted, platitudinous laundry list of censurable hatreds. It meant nothing. Omar was coddled then, as she is coddled now.

Let’s also remember that Omar replaced Keith Ellison, a “former” acolyte of Louis Farrakhan, who accidentally kept going to meetings with the antisemitic minister after he was elected to Congress. Actually, the then-deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, Ellison attended a private dinner with Iranian regime “president” Hassan Rouhani, Farrakhan, and Democratic Congressmen Andre Carson and Gregory Meeks.

Then again, the Congressional Black Caucus has a long relationship with the notorious antisemite, inviting him to address their events and attending his. Maxine Waters can be seen on video schmoozing with the leader of the Nation of Islam, who called Hitler a “very great man” and compared Jews to “termites.” Danny Davis, who serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, called him an “outstanding human being” in 2018 — the same year Taylor Greene was writing about Jewish space lasers on comment boards. Only one of these two incidents merits any coverage, for some reason.

More pernicious than any trope or dog whistle or conspiracy about Rothchild weather machines is “anti-Zionism.” It is the predominant justification for violence, murder, and hatred against Jews in Europe and the Middle East, on American college campuses, and in the progressive protest movement. The left “handles” this movement by giving its champions columns in The New York Times and normalizing it within their political ranks. This is the preferred antisemitism of “The Squad.” Yet when conspiracy nut Rashida Tlaib — who doesn’t even make an appearance in Chait’s column — tells her audience that “behind the curtain,” the forces who stop a “free Palestine” are the “same people” who exploit “regular Americans” for “their profit,” even the typically spineless Jonathan Greenblatt calls it out. In response, Chait, who goes around smearing millions as fascists, writes that criticism of Tlaib is a “classic example of right-wingers using the ultra-sensitive standards, with the least generous interpretation.”

Then, let’s not forget Rev. Al Sharpton, perhaps the most notorious antisemite of the past 30 years; a man who used a tragic 1991 car accident to incite a three-day race riot in Crown Heights. A man who spread conspiracies about the Jewish “nexus” between “Tel Aviv” and “South Africa” and the “diamond merchants” of Crown Heights (“apartheid regime” is still the preferred smear of many progressives.) There is much more to Sharpton’s vile history. Yet virtually every Democrat running for president still visits this kingmaker. That includes 2024-28 presidential prospects such as Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete. Sharpton was also Barack Obama’s former “go-to man” on race. Which reminds me: How many Republican presidential candidates have been mentored by a racist Jew-hater like Rev. Wright? And if they had been, how many incriminating photos would the media suppress for them? 

Yes, Kanye is clearly a Jew hater. The Black Israelite stuff is venomous. Perhaps conservatives will have learned a lesson about attempting to appropriate celebrity notoriety, though I doubt it. But as far as I can tell, no elected Republican or prominent conservative, save Candace Owens, has been out there defending his comments.

So Chait is compelled to make big deal out of the fact that Kanye’s being de-banked by JP Morgan — a false claim, it turned out — “inspired the right-wing media to rally to his defense.” None of his hyperlinks, one leading to alleged “right winger” Matt Taibbi, defends Kanye’s rhetoric. Chait might not be familiar with the concept of a neutral principle, but it is possible to worry about the precedent of de-banking people over their words without supporting the sentiment — especially because left-wingers conflate political speech they dislike with fascism and racism all the time. I would no sooner want to see Kanye de-banked for his ugly words than Alice Walker or Tamika Mallory or Linda Sarsour or Sophie Ellman-Golan.

That said, no one is innocent. It’s true that Trump’s ham-fisted tropes regarding Jews are insulting and stupid. Does the former president hold rancor against Jews? Probably no more animosity than Joe Biden holds toward American Indians or blacks. His comments reflect a preternatural ego that sees any failure to support him not only as a personal affront but a betrayal of your own interests.

I’m less offended by the notion that Jews should care about Israel — they should — than I am by, say, Raphael Warnock’s spreading a blood libel about the sole democracy in the Middle East or people belittling the memory of the Holocaust by comparing everything they dislike to Nazis or politicians sending pallets of cash to those threatening a new one. To each his own, I guess. Of course, what I really wish is that politicians would stop speaking about Jews altogether. But since this hasn’t been the case in centuries, I doubt anything will change soon.

And you’ll get no argument from me on the loathsome Paul Gosar or conspiracy-mongering Taylor Greene (game recognizes game.) Though Chait fails to mention that Kevin McCarthy has condemned Greene on more than one occasion — which I guess puts him in the lead over Pelosi. Rather, Chait has to spin the fiction that Taylor Greene, a woman who has never written a piece of important legislation or affected the party’s position on a single issue, is de facto leader of the Republican Party — or, rather, future leader. The reality is that both McCarthy and Pelosi are forced to placate their fringes in the pursuit of power. Only one, however, gets a pass.

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