Nearly all Americans, Republican and Democrat, see their Jewish neighbors as good members of the community — solid co-workers, fine friends, and beloved relatives. Ugly prejudice remains but its thin stuff compared to the genuine article which has been expelled from decent circles. The recent controversy over the remarks of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), however, and the insipid reaction of the Democrats to her bigotry vividly show that Jewish Americans, who have traditionally voted Democrat, should wonder whether the old monster of anti-Semitism is alive in their political home and if their loyalty is misplaced. To recap:
The particular “evil doings” that Omar had in mind that Israel had hypnotized the world into not seeing was a targeted in the Gaza Strip aimed at Zohair al-Qaisi, Secretary General of the Popular Resistance Committees. That happy chappy had led a group of Palestinian terrorists, who had just killed eight Israelis including six civilians. The Israelis reasonably believed he was planning a more lethal attack. Their air strike killed him before he could act. Palestinian militants retaliated for the death of their pal, firing 300 rockets that killed 23 Israeli civilians. Israel responded with strikes against the militants, killing 22 of them and 4 civilians. The incident was broadcast internationally and nothing was hidden despite Israel’s mythical, mystical power to hypnotize the world into not seeing its actions. In fact, Omar told CNN’s Christine that she tweeted her tweet after watching the bombing on TV (on CNN perhaps?).
If any blindness is evident, it is the unwillingness by much of the world’s media to discern any blame in the actions of the Palestinian terrorists who relentlessly attack Israel. Killing murderous terrorists is “evil.” Killing Israelis, not so much.
When later challenged in another interview about her tweeted comment, Omar blandly answered, “I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans.” In the same interview, she responded to a tweet about President Donald Trump supposedly blackmailing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who had run against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination but had become a Trump supporter on some issues. “They got to him, he is compromised,” Omar had . In scummier Washington circles, it has been rumored that Graham is a closeted gay man. Omar, with a smile and a malicious twinkle in her eyes, was careful to avoid an open homophobic smear by suggesting instead a “funding” or “polling” or “leadership” issue was the dirt Trump was using to compromise Graham but all of Washington knew exactly what she meant. The interviewers asked for evidence of Trump’s blackmailing Graham, but when she said she had only her “opinion” as proof, they politely didn’t press the point.
Omar should be circumspect in passing around rumors, as it has been rumored she has some in her own background. It has been claimed that she may not be legally married to the man she calls her husband and may actually be married to another man who may be her brother. When reporters have questioned her about this extremely odd possibility, she insists that she won’t answer and that the question is the product of “Trump-style misogyny, racism, anti-immigration rhetoric and Islamophobic division.” It would be impossible for Sen. Graham to prove he isn’t being blackmailed by President Trump — proving a negative is a logical impossibility — but Omar could clear up the marriage issue with some official paperwork and maybe a few wedding snaps. She could leave the meanie-Trump/I-am-woman/race/immigrant/Islam card in her wallet.
Omar’s next, significant offensive tweet was posted in February 2019. She , “It’s all about the Benjamins baby,” when describing the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She then expressed surprise that anyone would be displeased that she was claiming that Jews used hundred dollar bills to buy politicians. This time, with the tweet implicitly including Democrats as being in the bunch of bought politicians, the Democratic leaders in Congress yanked on her chain. Omar quickly deleted the tweet and apologized with a little twist. Liberal movie mogul Harvey Weinstein had apologized for pressuring starlets into sex by promising to go after the Left’s bête noire, the NRA. Omar did him one better. She said, “I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” then added, “I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry.” Go after guns and Big Oil and it’s okay to attack the Jews with lame old anti-Semitic tropes that anti-Semites learned on their anti-Semitic great-grandad’s withered knee. As a side note, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David , a Holocaust denier, has tweeted support for Omar.
Omar’s next invocation of the sort of stuff that once was tea party chat in derFührer’s bunker occurred on February 27th, 2019. She was at a bookstore and feeling oh-so-put-upon by the criticism she was getting for implying Jews were buying American politicians. She announced, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Accusing Jews, or supposed stooges of the Jews, of loyalty to Judaism over their country is an anti-Semitic trope straight out of The Protocols of Zion, and Omar was again criticized and an effort was made to have her removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She didn’t back down. She insisted, “[I] should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”
Several voices, Democrat and Republican, patiently pointed out to Omar that she wasn’t being asked to pledge allegiance to Israel, only to recognize that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and an American ally and shouldn’t be insulted using smears that fueled pogroms. Other nations in the region are friendly, but none is as close to us or as trusted. Omar stubbornly doesn’t understand this or doesn’t want to accept it. Her hatred of Israel and indulgence in anti-Semitism is more than morally disturbing, it endangers American national security. The Foreign Affairs Committee has access to all sorts of secret intelligence, some garnered from Israel. Will they feel comfortable trusting America and Omar with their secrets, information that could be vital to American interests? Despite this concern, the Democratic leadership chose not to remove Omar from the committee.
Omar put Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in an uncomfortable position. She has been ballyhooed as a multicultural star blazing bright in the Democrat pantheon. Her continual anti-Semitic insults marred that image but played to the progressive socialists swarming up out of the far-Left hotbeds of America’s campuses where hatred of Israel flourishes. They are the coming thing for Democrats, and they will be the foot soldiers in future campaigns. Muslim immigrant enclaves are also important, growing blocks of voters in some swing states. How do Jewish Democrats stack up against this?
American Jews aren’t as important to national politics as they once were. They are only a significant voter block in New York and Florida. New York is a dependable blue state with or without them in presidential elections and in most down ballot races. Florida can swing against the Democrats without the Jewish vote in a presidential race, but there, they are an older demographic which is unlikely to change allegiance dramatically. As they shrink in proportion to a growing immigrant influx, Democrats will pursue the newcomers and, if they win them as they did the immigrants of the past, Florida’s Jewish voters won’t be essential. Consequently, in national politics, the Democrats no longer need to appease Jewish Democrats with more than platitudes. Even if that fails and some grow dissatisfied and vote Republican, their numbers are unlikely to be game changing.
The result was that when those in Congress who were offended by Omar called for a resolution condemning her, something far, far less was produced. Pelosi and the Democratic leadership knew which way the electoral/demographic wind is blowing. They drew up a resolution that condemned anti-Semitism but that also condemned a big bag of bigotries — all of which weren’t at issue — that buried anti-Semitism under other isms, thereby not offending Omar or her supporters by singling her out. She wasn’t even named. The resolution also denounced Islamophobia, thereby defending Omar from those she often accuses of attacking her. Unsurprisingly, she happily endorsed the resolution. Not only had she evaded punishment, she established that she is above punishment for offenses that would have ruined less privileged offenders.
Jewish Democrats might want to wonder at what their place, if any, will be in the new and improved Democratic Party.
All across Europe, nation after nation has joined in condemning Israel whenever Israel reacts to yet another barrage of rockets raining down on them. In part, this is because growing Muslim populations are making those nations more hostile to the Jewish state as Islamic electoral power grows. but there is also a resurgence in the once dormant anti-Semitism as the Holocaust fades from memory. Attacks on Jews have increased, and there are parts of major cities where Jews dare not walk, dress as Jews, or conduct business. Even flagrant displays of anti-Semitism are being tolerated. Consider a carnival parade held in the city of Aalst in Belgium’s Flemish region on March 3rd. Belgium, it should be remembered, hosts the headquarters of the European Union and NATO. The parade featured elaborate floats with gigantic puppet effigies and costumed dancers. One float depicted Hasidic Jews rejoicing over bags of money to a lively pop music song. When asked about the float, the town’s mayor seemed surprised that anyone might be offended. Judge for yourselves. Click .
I optimistically believe America will never descend to such depths, but politicians like Omar can give you nightmares in which you see her happily clapping and tapping a toe along to a peppy tune as a similar ghastly parade float passes by.