Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Young Dems; Old Anti-Semitism

Young Dems; Old Anti-Semitism
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 12, 2019 

Anti-Semitism is about as old as time - the Crusades, myriad pogroms, Jewish people exiled from virtually every European country, restricted from employment, trades, professions, housing, college admissions quotas, martyred for peacefully practicing their faith - proselytizing goes against Jewish law, and of course the Holocaust of European Jewry.

There’s no need to regale anyone with the hardcore statistics - for those feel free to visit the Anti-Defamation League website: www.adl.org - I have no affiliation with the ADL.

Anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head throughout the United States since before its founding as a great nation. Without parameters, the “club” includes, but sadly, is not limited to political commentator Patrick Buchanan, Father Charles Coughlin, author Roald Dahl, former KKK Grand Wizard and state house member David Duke (R-LA), author T.S. Eliot, Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan, automobile magnate Henry Ford, actor Mel Gibson, Reverend Jesse Jackson (D), Congressional candidate and Holocaust denier Arthur Jones (R-IL), aviator Charles Lindbergh, author Ezra Pound, Congressman John Rankin (D-MS), Margaret Sanger - founder of what would become Planned Parenthood, and Reverend Al Sharpton (D-NY).

Thanks to social media, indoctrination in our classrooms and on our campuses, anti-Semitism is permeating the halls of Congress with a greater prevalence than in recent memory. Recent tweets by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) have opened a can of worms demonstrating the blatant anti-Semitism of someone who will remain unapologetic. Just wondering if she has a copy of Protocols of the Elders of Zion on her bookshelf.

Beginning Sunday evening February 10, criticism was rightfully hoisted upon Omar for suggesting that AIPAC paid or bribed members of Congress for their support of Israel. 

AIPAC - the American Israel Public Affairs Committee - is a 501(c)(4) bi-partisan advocacy organization founded in 1951 promoting strong relations between the United States and Israel. (www.aipac.org) Don’t confuse the PAC in AIPAC with a PAC - political action committee, which far too many people do. AIPAC, of which I am a proud member, does not endorse or contribute to political candidates. Some of my most conservative friends are members of AIPAC, as are some of my most liberal friends. AIPAC truly exemplifies what bipartisanship is all about and perhaps Congress could take a few lessons there.

Initially, Omar alluded to AIPAC prior to mentioning its name, then when asked why such an organization would supposedly pay members of Congress for support, Omar tweeted “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” referencing a 1997 rap song by Puff Daddy. This is an old anti-Semitic canard about Jewish greed or obsession with all things financial. (Setting the record straight, Jews, while not monolithic in their charitable giving, are among the most generous of any ethnic or religious group.)

Because this is not Omar’s first foray in anti-Semitic screeds, elected Republicans, the Republican Jewish Coalition, and even leading Democrats called for the Somali-born House member to apologize. Republicans and members of Jewish groups also called for Omar to be stripped of her membership on the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee.

In part, the Democrat’s House Leadership wrote, in condemning Omar’s anti-Semitism: “Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned wherever it is encountered, without exception…
Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments…”

On February 11, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tweeted, “In our conversation today, Congresswoman Omar and I agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.”

Yet prior to her disingenuous “apology,” Omar not only mocked those calling her anti-Semitic, she added, “I’m always surprised by the criticism I get.”

Counselor to President Trump Kellyanne Conway called Omar’s remarks “sewage spilling from her mouth.”

Omar’s apology, is disingenuous because it is not her first apology for anti-Semitic remarks, and because it was conditional, doubling down on her attack on AIPAC.

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes. My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish American as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.

“At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it,” tweeted Omar.

Virginia Democrat Congressman Gerry Connolly defended Omar calling her a “freshman. She’s young.”

Omar is not a 14 year old freshman in high school - she’s a 37 year old grown woman whose opinions and attitudes did not formulate on January 3 when she was sworn in.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez barely mentioned Omar’s name in a tepid, almost non-existent rebuke, instead offering boiler-plate pablum about the importance of the relationship between the United States and Israel. Additionally, Omar suffered neither punishment nor removal from any committee assignment - just lip-service from the Democrats at best. On the other hand, when Congressman Steve King (R-IA) used racist language in January, the GOP punished him with removal from all committee assignments.

Additionally, on November 16, 2012 Omar tweeted “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Not only did Omar not apologize for that tweet, it still exists. More recently Omar said she thinks it’s a joke when Israel is called a democracy, comparing it to the despotic regime of Iran.

“Congressman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself,” said fellow House freshman Max Rose (D-NY).

“Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress,” said President Donald Trump about Omar’s statements. “Her lame apology - and she didn’t mean a word of it - I think she should either resign from Congress, or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” continued the President.

Omar is not the only freshman or Democrat of longer service to have made anti-Semitic remarks/texts or been supportive of anti-Israel legislation. Freshman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), another young House member at 42, not only penned a column for a Farrakhan-led Nation of Islam publication in 2006, she, like Omar, is a strong supporter of the virulently anti-Semitic BDS Movement (Boycott, Divest, Sanction). Freshmen Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), 45, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), 29, are also supporters of the BDS Movement.

In fact, an anti-BDS bill passed the Senate on Tuesday, January 29, 76-23 - including 24 Democrat senators voting in favor. However, six potential 2020 Democrat presidential aspirants voted against the measure allowing state governments to deny contracts to businesses supporting the BDS Movement. The six Democrat senators are Cory Booker (NJ), Sherrod Brown (OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Kamala Harris (CA), Bernie Sanders (VT), and Elizabeth Warren (MA).

Elected officials, like Omar and her cohorts, have a First Amendment right of free speech, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be condemned for hate speech - of which anti-Semitism most certainly is. Jewish voters, who vote in one of the strongest blocks for Democrats, better wake up and understand that this is not their grandparents Democrat Party. Even Democrat senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Brian Schatz (HI) - both Jewish voted against the anti-BDS bill.

The Republican Party is the party of the American people sans hyphens. The Republican Party doesn’t play identity politics and doesn’t believe in egregious taxation. The GOP used to believe in limited government and reduced spending and needs to return to those days of fiscal responsibility. The GOP understands the importance of a strong alliance between the United States and Israel and hopefully more Jewish voters will come to that realization and no longer allow the Democrats to take their votes for granted.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

1 comment:

  1. Several Democrats didn't sign the BDS bill for several reasons, and in Harris's it was not because she supports BDS. She is a proud Zio and is married to a proud Zio. Sanders has always been an anti-Zio ( and he is NOT a Dem, he is an Independent), and the others are wishy washy. But to term the GOP the party of true Americans is just a wrong. How many vote Zio while having nothing to do with real Jews? Their conservative evangelical churches teach that Jews must all convert so that can best done now by having us all in the same place. If that didn't exist, how much of that support will vanish? And what about all the other GOP values that don't mesh with Jewish values such as open bigotry to minorities, dismantling of the social safety net for our most vulnerable, and trashing the Earth in favour of profits.