Democrats’ draft measure condemning anti-Semitism, which the House will vote on this Wednesday, is a useless and transparent attempt to distract from a serious problem. The melodramatic resolution mentions Alfred Dreyfuss, Leo Frank, Henry Ford, and “anti-Muslim bigotry”—because, hey, even when Jews are being smeared it’s about Islamophobia—but not once does it condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar or the strain of Jew-hatred she is helping normalize on the left. The resolution, teeming with useless platitudes, is one that even Omar could probably support.
Omar argues that American “democracy is built on debate” and that she “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.” No decent person disagrees with this comment in theory. Also, no sane person believes this contention, perpetually repeated by anti-Israel progressives, is true of Omar.
No one asked her, or anyone else, to pledge allegiance to a foreign nation. It’s her belief that supporting the Jewish state, a long-time ideological and geopolitical ally of the United States, is an act of dual loyalty — either by Jews themselves, or by those they’ve hypnotized to do “evil” for them. She is the one who accuses Jewish Americans, a group that has played a robust role in the nation’s civic life for a long time, of doing the bidding of a foreign nation to the detriment of their own.
Just as no one is forcing Omar to take a position on Israel, no one is attacking her right to free speech. This isn’t Gaza or Eritrea—a country Omar recently visited and was quite impressed by—where a dictatorship can arrest and torture citizens for taking unpopular positions. Here, others are allowed to call her out also. If Omar’s moral compass tells her to advocate for terrorists and theocrats, she’s free to do so. Americans are likewise free to point it out.
It’s worth remembering that it was only after a handful of Jewish Democrats like Eliot Engel objected to Omar’s comments that Pelosi was forced to act—or, rather, pretend to act. Even now, a number of pundits on the left, including columnists for the Washington Post and The Atlantic, argue that Omar—as well as fellow anti-Semite Rep. Rashida Tlaib—operate within the parameters of acceptable debate. Or take The New York Times’ alleged anti-Semitism expert, Jonathan Weisman, who’s probably never met a leftist Jew-hater he won’t defend. Then again, his newspaper has a rich history on this front. Omar could read portions of the Hamas Charter into the congressional record, and The New York Times would tell us her “latest remarks on Israel draw criticism.”
Another tactic taken up by Democrats, I’ve noticed, is trolling for supposedly anti-Semitic comments by Republicans to deflect and dilute the attention on Omar. On Monday Democrats found one such strawman, when the ranking member of the oversight committee, Jim Jordan, spelled liberal donor Tom Steyer’s name with a dollar sign in a tweet. Liberals across the media quickly took up the cause: “Gee whiz, what if Ilhan Omar had done this?!” Well, if Omar had inserted a dollar sign into the name of a supposedly Jewish donor, considering her history, we’d have to assume she’d was clumsily trying to make another bigoted comment.
But, generally speaking, there’s absolutely nothing anti-Semitic about pointing out that Steyer, and other activist billionaires, spends millions every cycle helping political causes. Steyer, perhaps more than any other activist in the nation, in fact, is known for advocating for the impeachment of Donald Trump. So when House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued document requests from more than 80 people and organizations in a massive trolling investigation for “obstruction,” Jordan reacted, as people in both political parties have always reacted, accusing the other party of being bought by a big donors and special interests.
In any event, according to this Men’s Journal feature, Steyer grew up with a non-practicing Jewish dad and became involved in the Episcopalian church when he was 40. I certainly had no idea that “$teyer” had any Jewish background. His surname isn’t Jewish. He’s not a supporter of Jewish causes. If anything, he’s been a long-time supporter of anti-Israel candidates and organizations.
Democrats who hear dog-whistles at every mention of “globalist” or whenever sugar daddies like George Soros are criticized, can’t get their ire up when one of their own drops tropes that sound like they’ve been pulled from Protocols of the Elders of Zion. As a wise person on Twitter recently pointed out, for Democrats, Steyer is Jewish, Soros is Jewish, Obama is Jewish, but Sheldon Adelson isn’t.
Congress, of course, really has no business setting guidelines for acceptable political speech. Pelosi does, however, have the power to name committee appointees. And with this power she decided to place a doltish Jew-hater with radical positions and absolutely no relevant experience on the House foreign affairs committee to appease the growing anti-Israel contingent in her party.
She did this knowing about Omar’s history of anti-Semitic tweets, radicalism, and support of Hamas. Last week, after Omar had been subjected to a slap on the wrist and offered a sham apology, Pelosi was mugging on the cover of the celebratory issue of Rolling Stone magazine with her and her bestie apologist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. These are “Women Shaping the Future,” says the Rolling Stone.
Yes, that is Pelosi’s legacy.
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Author: David Harsanyi