The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


In a number of recent posts, I've commented on the growing anti-Semitism among the hard left wing of the Democratic party. The most recent example—the odious comments of yet another media darling—Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Sure, Omar is the epitome of a "diversity" politician—a woman, a person of color, young, a victim of oppression in her native land, and a Muslim—what could be more politically correct? Only one thing—she's also an anti-Semite, rabidly anti-Israel, and a hard-left ideologue.

If this was only about Omar, there wouldn't be much of a problem. There will always be anti-Semites, and taken individually, they are despicable, but not particularly dangerous. It's when their hatred of Jews is absorbed by a large political movement that they become dangerous. That's what's happening in the Democratic party. Sure, it's still very early, and yes, the leadership of the Dems is waving its arms and condemning the anti-Semitism in its midst, but it seems to me it's doing political calculus—keeping its large and enthusiastic Jewish constituency mollified—rather than aggressively rooting out and banishing the leftists who espouse these bigoted positions.

Of course, the hard left tells us that they're not anti-Semites, just "anti-Zionists." And that's because they claim Israel "oppresses" the palestinians and "occupies" palestinian land. Like most positions taken by the Left, this one exhibits profound historical ignorance, hypocritical illogic, striking double standards, and convenient cover for the bigotry that sits behind it. It's telling that of all the countries in the Middle East, the Left chooses to single out the only liberal democracy, the only country that is not homophobic, the only country that is not misogynistic, the only country that encourages freedom of religion and freedom of the press, the only vital economy, and yes, the only country that is not predominantly Muslim.

David Harsanyi comments:
The problem is that “anti-Zionism,” the predominant justification for violence, murder, and hatred against Jews in Europe and the Middle East, is a growing position on the American Left. While Omar embraces the worst caricatures of this ideology, it’s her core contention regarding the Jewish state–not her clumsy “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”-style insults, which are just a manifestation of her underlying position—which are most consequential.

One of the dishonest argument I often see is that Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who we recently found out wrote a piece for a publication of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, are merely being “critical of Israel.” Yet, no serious person has ever made the claim that being critical of Israel’s policies is anti-Semitic. Israel has had both left-wing and right-wing governments over the years. And like governments in any liberal democracy, they can be corrupt, misguided, or incompetent. Millions of Israelis are critical of their own nation’s policies every year without any fear of repercussions. Israel isn’t Iran or Turkey, countries that most of Israel’s critics never disparage.

But the best way to gauge if a person is merely being “critical” of Israel’s policies or critical of the existence of the Jewish state is to use Natan Sharansky’s 3-d test: 1) Do they engage in “delegitimization” of the nation’s existence as every supporter of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) does? 2) Do they engage in “demonization” of that country, as people who claim Israelis hypnotize the world for evil or go around murdering children for kicks do? 3) Do they engage in “double standards,” like having an obsession with Israel and AIPAC, while ignoring illiberalism found throughout the Islamic world or things like Muslim concentration camps found in China?

... Though it might be tough for progressives to understand, many Americans still prefer Israel over Hamas, the PLO, and Iran for reasons other than money. For example, a shared understanding of liberalism, theological reasons, historic ties, political realities, and practical geopolitical reasons. Though I concede that contemporary progressives might not embrace these values anymore.
Indeed, the reason that far too many on the hard Left find common ground with anti-Israel haters is that they despise any vibrant democracy (Israel is a vibrant democracy) in which many different points of view are alive and well. The hard left wants authoritarian control in which their world-view and only their world view is dominant.

Based on recent history, anti-Semitism among those on the left will get worse, not better. And because the Democrats are lurching left, it will infect their party and their platform. The elders of the party may offer weak protests and occasionally "condemn" the comments of someone like Omar, but I doubt any senior Democrat is brave enough to call out the bigotry and regularly condemn the leftists who espouse it. My continuing advice to Jews who are staunch Democrats—the party is no longer your friend—#walkaway.


After summarizing the comments of those Democrats who have chastized Omar, characterizing her comments as "hurtful," Abigail Shrier writes:
That Ms. Omar would slander Israel is disturbing not because of the feelings it tramples. Since her appointment to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, her statement raises alarm about how her enmity for the world’s only Jewish country—and the world’s largest Jewish population—might translate into policy aims. The issues for Israel’s supporters are security and survival, not hurt feelings, which are trivial in comparison. Assuming that all Jews love gefilte fish, play klezmer music, and suffer overbearing mothers? Those are stereotypes. Actively working to isolate Israel and accusing pro-Israel Jews of bribing Congress isn’t “insensitive.” It’s something far darker and more malevolent.
Indeed it is. Omar is simply one of thousands (tens or hundreds of thousands? millions?) of leftists who want the BDS Movement to succeed. That is, they want to destroy a tiny democracy of 8.8 million people is a sea of nearly 250 million Muslims. The Leftist intent isn't moral, it isn't principled, and it certainly isn't just. It is malevolent.

UPDATE (2/14/2019):

As if to put an explanation point on her "apology" for her rabid anti-Semitism, Ilhan Omar decided to give a speech. Stephen Maturen reports:
Newly elected Rep. Ilhan Omar will jet off to Los Angeles next month to keynote a fundraiser for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a terror-tied organization that was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist financing case in U.S. history.

On March 23, Omar will speak at CAIR-Los Angeles’ 4th Annual Valley Banquet, where tables will cost $500.

“CAIR-LA is honored to have Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as the featured speaker for the 4th Annual Valley Banquet,” reads a press release from the Los Angeles chapter of the group that was formed as a Hamas support network in the United States.

She will deliver her address alongside CAIR-Florida director Hassan Shibly, according to a CAIR flier promoting the event. Shibly is a dedicated Islamist and bigoted gay basher. A fan of radical clerics, he has routinely refused to categorize U.S.-designated terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, according to the Clarion Project. Moreover, Shibly regularly takes to social media to demonize the U.S. military as equivalent to the jihadi terrorists that they are fighting.
I have written about CAIR here, here, and here. It's not the least bit surprising that Omar finds common cause with those who fund Islamic terror organizations. What is surprising is that her Democrat colleagues in the House and the Senate don't condemn her ties to the organization. Might be worth asking her comrade in arms, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez her position on all of this.