The so-called “squad” – Democrat Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) – received strong support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She blasted President Trump’s tweets attacking the radicals, following in the footsteps of the highly partisan resolution passed by the Democrat-controlled House that condemned President Trump’s tweets as “racist.”
“I distance myself from this decidedly and stand in solidarity with the women who were attacked,” Chancellor Merkel said. “Those [Trump’s statements] are sentiments which are very much in opposition to my impressions [about the U.S.], which I strongly believe in, and it is something that undermines America’s strength,” Chancellor Merkel added.
Evidently, what disturbed the German chancellor the most was President Trump’s suggestion in one of his tweets that the squad members should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” All four squad members are U.S. citizens. Only one of them, Rep. Omar, was born outside the United States in Somalia and came to this country from a Kenyan refugee camp as a child. Trump supporters at a campaign rally last Wednesday chanted “send her back,” referring to Omar after the president had singled her out for sharp criticism. Chancellor Merkel, along with much of the mainstream media and other Trump critics, have dwelt on this one Trump tweet, and on the rallygoers’ “send her back” chant that President Trump subsequently criticized. They chose to largely ignore or downplay the factual substance of the president’s critique.
President Trump’s beef with the squad is not grounded in their color, race, or sex. If it were, he also would be singling out other women of color in Congress, including presidential candidate Kamala Harris, with racist and sexist attacks. The president, at times with inartful rhetoric to be sure, has tried principally to focus on the anti-American, anti-Semitic rhetoric delivered by members of the squad. He singled out Omar in particular for her anti-Semitism and hatred of the Jewish State of Israel. There is plenty of evidence to support the president’s accusations.
In 2012, Omar tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”
Last February, in reference to the pro-Israel lobbying organization AIPAC, Omar wrote, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!” She then double-downed, accusing Israel’s American supporters in and out of Congress of “allegiance to a foreign country.”
When asked last week by CBS News’ Gayle King whether she regretted using such language, Omar replied, “I do not,” while also shamelessly claiming that she is not an anti-Semite. Then she proved her anti-Semitism once again by sponsoring a resolution that was nothing more than a thinly disguised attempt to equate opposition to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement with suppression of free speech. Rep. Tlaib was a co-sponsor. The resolution, which cites boycotts in the past of Nazi Germany, apartheid South Africa, and the Soviet Union as positive examples, does not mention Israel by name or refer explicitly to BDS. But its purpose is clear. Omar told Al-Monitor in an interviewthat the resolution “is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
In other words, according to Omar, boycotting Israel, which was created in the wake of the Holocaust, is morally equivalent to the boycott of Nazi Germany itself. What Omar conveniently forgets is that, as Middle East Truth founder and president Sarah Stern pointed out, “the boycott of Nazi Germany came about as a response to the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.” Now Omar and Tlaib are encouraging the Nazi-like boycott of businesses dealing commercially with the Jewish state, which harks back to one of the darkest times in history. Fortunately, there is still some sense of decency in the Democrat-controlled House on the BDS issue. The House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a bipartisan resolution last week that puts the committee on record condemning the BDS movement for engaging in “efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel.”
Opposing the BDS movement’s boycott initiative is not about opposing free speech, as its deceptive proponents would have us believe. Nobody is trying to interfere with the rights of individual U.S. citizens to engage in personal boycott activity, such as personal decisions not to buy a product based on where it came from. The concern is with those businesses which discriminate, based on national origin or religion, by refusing to deal commercially with persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories. The officers and employees of such businesses are free to criticize Israel’s policies to their hearts’ content and to decide not to buy Israeli-made products for their personal use. What the businesses should not do, or suffer adverse consequences of their own if they persist, is to discriminatorily single out the Jewish state for economic punishment because of its settlements activities. We hear nothing about an economic boycott of other countries with their settlers and soldiers in “occupied” territories, such as Turkey in Cyprus. This discrimination against the Jewish state alone is anti-Semitic. Moreover, any attempt to demonize Israel or delegitimize its very existence as a Jewish state by, for example, equating Israel to Nazi Germany is rank anti-Semitism of the worst sort.
How ironic it is then that Chancellor Merkel feels “solidarity” with Omar and Palestinian-American Tlaib. Instead, she should be joining President Trump in condemning Omar and Tlaib for their endorsement of the BDS movement, which Germany’s legislature itself last May declared to be “anti-Semitic.” The German anti-BDS resolution was co-sponsored by Chancellor Merkel’s own Christian-Democratic Union Party, the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party.
Sensitive to Germany’s Nazi past, during which Jewish-owned businesses were targeted for boycott as a prelude to targeting Jews themselves for extermination, a large majority of the German lawmakers voted for the resolution. The German resolution stated that “all-encompassing calls for boycotts in their radical nature lead to the stigmatization of Israeli citizens and citizens of Jewish faith as a whole. This is unacceptable and worthy of the sharpest condemnation.” The resolution added, “The BDS movement’s ‘Don’t Buy’ stickers on Israeli products inevitably awake associations with the Nazi slogan ‘Don’t Buy from Jews!’ and similar scrawls on facades and shop windows.”
Chancellor Merkel herself has spoken out against the scourge of anti-Semitism. She has also said in the past that “Germany’s support for Israel’s security is part of our national ethos, our raison d’etre.” Now, however, she is expressing “solidarity” with pro-BDS, anti-Semitic congresswomen who would like nothing more than to see the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. Disgraceful!
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