Equivocating on Condemnation of Anti-Semitism

Democrat extremism renders the party incapable of denouncing Jew-hate.

In the wake of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic slurs, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. But something went very awry.

Congresswoman Omar, Democrat from Minnesota, was born in Somalia and is one of the first two Muslim women to enter Congress. In recent weeks, she has unleashed a litany of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments including “Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel” (during an Israeli attack against terror organization Hamas in Gaza); “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” (alluding to the concept that Jews rule through money); and accusations of “dual loyalty” (an old anti-Semitic trope implying that American Jews are more loyal to Israel).

Omar made a quintessential non-apology by stating that she was sorry for the hurt her words caused, but refused to retract her beliefs. She’s sorry “but”….

Prior to her run for Congress, Omar was on the Advisory Board of CAIR in Minnesota. CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood front-group spawned out of Hamas and the Islamic Association of Palestine, both State Department-designated terrorist organizations. It is also an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial – the largest terror-financing trial in the history of the United States. Omar is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a CAIR fundraiser in California on March 23, 2019. She will be speaking alongside Hassan Shibley, Director of CAIR-FL, who has praised both Hamas and Hezbollah and is representing the “ISIS bride’s family” in their quest to have her return to America after she called for the mass murder of Americans. 

Ilhan Omar openly supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks economic implosion of the State of Israel. Despite this, freshman Congresswoman Omar holds a coveted seat on the powerful and prestigious House Foreign Affairs Committee where her anti-Israel attitudes can have a real-world impact in terms of funding and U.S. foreign policy. Committee appointments are determined by House leadership. It was Nancy Pelosi who placed Omar on this committee. To quell the rash of criticism unleashed upon the freshman congresswoman, House Speaker Pelosi initially sought to pass a resolution singling out anti-Semitism for condemnation, but the rank and file Democrats simply wouldn’t have it.

The original drafting of the resolution started on Friday, March 1, 2017. The drafters who advocated for a bill that would focus solely on anti-Semitism consisted of three Jewish Democrats: Eliot Engel (D-NY), Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Ted Deutch (D-FL), whose father earned a purple heart fighting the Nazis; and Nita Lowey (D-NY), who seeks debate on issues without the injection of anti-Semitic slurs.

Despite the fact that the original purpose of the resolution was to condemn Omar’s hateful comments, the bill did not mention Omar by name. There was no censure, and House Leadership refused to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. A resolution is simply words without real consequences. No actions are taken as a result. Despite this, the bill elicited complaints from several quarters within the Democrat Party. Zeroing in on condemnation of anti-Semitism was just too difficult a hurdle for the Democrats to manage, and the resolution was amended to include a broader range of “hate” and “phobias.”

Democrat factions pushed and tugged for an entire week regarding the language of the resolution and some even opposed having a resolution altogether. Even Nancy Pelosi was “taken aback” by the dissent and rancor that her party members exhibited.

Yet, revealing how far to the Left the party has gone, all the Democrats who have thrown their hats into the ring of running for President in 2020 opposed the initial resolution. Kamala Harris argued that calling out Ilhan Omar specifically would “put her at risk” of violence. Some Democrats contemplated requesting a special security detail for Omar at the U.S. Capitol. Senator Bernie Sanders expressed concern that a resolution would result in censorship of Israel debate more broadly. Eliot Engel, while condemning Omar’s comments, still dismissed suggestions that she should be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Additionally, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (of which Omar is a member), and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus all opposed a resolution focusing on anti-Semitism. For the Black Caucus, any possible mention of Omar by name would have been a non-starter. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MS), a close friend of Omar and a member of both the CBC and the CPC, insisted “we need equity in our outrage... Islamophobia needs to be included in this. We need to denounce all forms of hate.”

External pressure groups such as CAIR and Jewish Voice for Peace (a radical anti-Israel organization that uses the Jewish heritage of its members to ward off claims of anti-Semitism), as well as Linda Sarsour, known anti-Semite and advocate for Sharia, were also pressuring members of congress to refrain from singling out anti-Semitism in a resolution. So much for “Jewish influence” in Congress.

Ironically, the resolution was sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee (where Omar sits) for vetting. Finally, at 5:05 PM on Thursday, March 8, 2019, a vote was taken on the floor of the House and passed with an overwhelming majority. The watered-down resolution is so all-inclusive as to be almost meaningless. It was expanded to include condemnation of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and bigotry against all minorities including the LGBT community. It invoked the events of Charlottesville and condemned - yet again - white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

And while it had several statements condemning anti-Semitic libels, it also asserted that in the wake of 9/11, Muslims shouldn’t be associated with terrorism, and that it is “unfair,”  “irrational,” and “prejudicial” to believe that [some] Muslims sympathize with terrorism or those who oppress women, Jews and minorities (thus denying Sharia’s ideology). The resolution also calls on law enforcement and government officials to refrain from “profiling.” Because this is the first congressional resolution condemning “anti-Muslim bigotry,” three Muslim Congressmen – Omar, Tlaib and Andre Carson (D-IN) – are claiming a victory in its passage.

Twenty-three Republican Congressmen, including Louie Gohmert from Texas and Liz Cheney from Wyoming, voted against the resolution because it wasn’t focused singularly on anti-Semitism. All of them supported the original version which singled out anti-Semitism.

Ilhan Omar insists that her comments were not anti-Semitic but either true or simply legitimate criticism of Israel. She asserts that the reason people are accusing her of anti-Semitism is because the comments are coming from a Muslim and those pointing the finger are "Islamophobic."  Like other Islamic supremacists, she has managed to turn everything upside down and backwards. If Islamists want to impose their religious views on you and you resist, then you are denying their right to "practice" their religion. If they want you to submit to their practices and you refuse, then you are "hostile" to their "religion." And now, if you accuse a Muslim who openly expresses anti-Semitism, then you are targeting them due to Islamophobia.  

This resolution was broadened to the point where it no longer serves its original intended purpose. In the recent past, Islamist groups have managed to put pressure on local governments and societal institutions to pass resolutions all across the country that condemn so-called Islamophobia, without any mention of "phobias" against other races, groups or belief systems. Democrats have gone along with it. Why now, are they totally unable, in the wake of hateful comments made by a member of their own party, to put forth a resolution focusing on condemnation of anti-Semitism?

The fiasco during the process of this resolution reveals a lack of moral clarity within the Democrat Party and the Left more broadly. If you vote Democrat and think you are voting for the party of JFK, of Martin Luther King’s colorblindness, or simply of equal pay for women, think again. That party is dead. You now belong to the party of Louis Farrakhan, Ilhan Omar, Linda Sarsour and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. You belong to a party that hijacked a condemnation of Jew-hatred and twisted it to make Muslims, not Jews, the victims. If you are Jewish and vote Democrat, there can be no clearer wakeup call.

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