DANIEL VAUGHAN: It’s time for Pelosi to confront anti-Semitism in her caucus

January 18, 2019

As we look ahead at the new year and assess the new Democratic majority in the House, Republicans have an opportunity to attack, expose, and push Congress to rid itself of a growing anti-Semitic segment in the chamber. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy did the right thing in stripping Rep. Steve King (R-IA) of all his congressional power — and now the pressure needs to turn on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to confront her coalition.

One of the worst examples of the rise in anti-Semitism on the left comes from the Women’s March, the protest that became famous in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 victory. While most mainstream outlets ignored the issue, the Jewish magazine Tablet took the Women’s March to task for filling its leadership with avowed anti-Semites.

In a series of articles, Tablet investigated the Women’s March and published accounts from Jewish women who had joined in the group. Carly Pildis wrote in April 2018 that the leadership of the Women’s March consistently made Jewish women second-class and openly brought on advisors who hated Jews.

Tablet also interviewed people who reported that at their very first meeting, Women’s March leadership said that “Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people—and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade.” (That line comes directly from Louis Farrakhan, who sounds like he’s reciting neo-Nazi propaganda and who has compared Jews to termites.)

One such alleged march leader was Tamika Mallory, who was cornered by Meghan McCain on the morning talk show The View. McCain asked Mallory if she had denounced Farrakhan, along with his anti-Semitism and lies.

Mallory responded that while she didn’t agree with Farrakhan’s words, she refused to condemn him. The contentious segment led to even Whoopi Goldberg suggesting that Mallory step down, which she declined. The Democratic Party responded to that segment by quietly dropping their support for the Women’s March.

Now you might say: Well, if the DNC is dropping support, doesn’t that mean they’re handling anti-Semitism?

They aren’t, because the Women’s March is only the tip of the iceberg.

According to Commentary magazine, newly elected Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar “supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) campaign aimed at destroying Israel. In 2012, she tweeted, ‘Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.'”

She later “went on CNN and defended her tweet,” and on her first day in office, “she met with anti-Semitic Women’s March leader (and Farrakhan fan) Linda Sarsour.”

Despite all of this, Democrats placed her on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which deals with U.S. foreign policy.

We’re left with a representative who has an open hatred for Jews in Israel on one of the leading House committees that will oversee U.S. policy with Israel.

Not to be outdone, newly elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib has similar issues with Jews. The Michigan Democrat’s highlights, according to Commentary: She “posed for a picture with a Hezbollah supporter named Abbas Hamideh at her swearing-in ceremony in Detroit. She then dined with the man—who has railed against ‘criminal Zionists’ and tweeted things like ‘Long live [Hezbollah leader] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah!’ Tlaib herself has a history of tweeting out support for anti-Israel terrorists. And recently, when a group of senators opposed a bill protecting localities that boycott Israel, Tlaib said that they ‘forgot what country they represent.'”

If the excuses these Democrats are making sound familiar, they should. These are the same lame excuses made by U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is also clearly an anti-Semite. (Corbyn has had so many accusations of anti-Semitism and had so many photos surface of him with a wide variety of terrorist organizations founded to specifically kill Jews that the BBC had to put together a guide for viewers on all the accusations.)

Corbyn’s excuses don’t work in the U.K. — and they shouldn’t work for the Democratic Party.

To some extent, it’s not surprising that Democrats must deal with a rise in anti-Semitism. Karl Marx was an avowed anti-Semite, who blamed the Jewish God for the rise of capitalism and hated them with a passion. His works are replete with lines condemning Jews. And Marx’s conspiracy theorizing about Jews has survived and translated itself into modern socialist movements.

Indeed, the rise of Democratic Socialists and the new resurgence in Marxism will naturally give new life to Marxist anti-Semitism. When you combine that with the bizarre reverence Louis Farrakhan’s Jew-hatred receives, you can see the foundations for modern anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party.

It’s time to start taking a hard line against these types.

Kevin McCarthy showed how he did it with Steve King, and Nancy Pelosi needs to bring her caucus into line. We’re not far removed from the tragic massacre of 11 Jews in a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Anti-Semitism is wrong no matter what party or movement it’s in.

Ideas have consequences, and refusing to confront the toxic ideas — and people who foster them — only supports the toxicity. Pelosi has work to do.

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Daniel Vaughan

Daniel Vaughan is a columnist for the Conservative Institute and lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee. He has degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and Regent University School of Law. His work can be found on the Conservative Institute's website, or you can receive his columns and free weekly newsletter at The Beltway Outsiders. Connect with him on Twitter at @dvaughanCI.