DANIEL VAUGHAN: Omar’s anti-Semitism now belongs to the Democratic Party

March 8, 2019

Representative Ilhan Omar can’t seem to go a week without saying something blatantly anti-Semitic. She’s not a racist dog whistle; she’s a bullhorn shouting in tandem with David Duke. Her latest comment to a liberal crowd was that “pro-Israel activists were pushing ‘for allegiance to a foreign country.'” The suggestion that Jews and their allies have dual loyalties and can’t be trusted is just the latest of many anti-Semitic statements from the Minnesota Democrat.

Some Democrats have had the bravery to stand up against Omar’s hate-filled accusations against Jews, like Rahm Emmanual, mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff to President Obama. He wrote in the Atlantic that Omar’s statements were textbook anti-Semitism that he’d faced himself, and further said she was “promoting some ugly tropes about Jews.”

That hasn’t been true of all Democrats.

The press is desperate to change the subject for Democrats. In the aftermath of the House’s final anti-hate resolution vote, reporters were quick to pounce on the fact that some Republicans voted against it. And a CNN contributor gleefully claimed that the vote was a black-eye for Republicans.

The reason for this open desperation is because the resolution was a joke. Journalists know it, Republicans know it, Democrats know it, and Ilhan Omar knows it. There’s a reason she happily voted for the resolution, even though she’s violated every paragraph in it denouncing anti-Semitism. And there’s a reason why Jewish Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin voted against it.

The story isn’t that people are voting against an “anti-hate resolution.” The question is, why were the actual anti-Semites happy to support it?

The answer is simple: the anti-Semites won the fight in the Democratic Party. The resolution started out as an effort to condemn Omar’s repeated speech against Jews. But that effort collapsed as soon as the radical progressives in the party, who all support Omar, put pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They pushed hard, and got the statement against anti-Semitism reduced to an airing of support for all the various identity groups in the Democratic Party.

In a searing column in the New York Times, titled “Ilhan Omar Knows Exactly What She Is Doing,” Bret Stephens blasted Omar for mainstreaming Corbynism, referring to the far-left, anti-Semitic leader of the U.K. Labour Party. Stephens also points out that Omar is shifting the narrative in the process:

The secret of anti-Semitism has always rested, in part, on creating the perception that the anti-Semite is, in fact, the victim of the Jews and their allies. Just which powers-that-be are orchestrating that campaign? Why are they afraid of open debate? And what about all the bigotry on their side? The goal is not to win the argument, at least not anytime soon. Yet merely by refusing to fold, Omar stands to shift the range of acceptable discussion — the so-called Overton window — sharply in her direction.

Democrats fell right into that trap, rushing to Omar’s defense and claiming she was being unfairly attacked by Democratic leadership, making her the real victim. The enemy isn’t people like Omar, they said. It’s the people standing up against anti-Semitism.

Instead of making a strong statement against anti-Semitism, the final resolution diluted the issue down to petty identity and grievance politics. Democrats tossed in Islamophobia, LGBT rights, and other minority groups in a scattergun approach to “anti-hate.” Omar was happy to support it because the resolution dilutes any support for Jews and lets her return to her talking points. You can make a case that purposefully weakening the pro-Jewish message of the resolution is another variant of anti-Semitism.

America, and more specifically, the Democratic Party, is at a crossroads. American Jews have to decide where they go from here, writes Commentary Magazine Editor in Chief John Podhoretz.

Let’s be clear here. Nobody baited Ilhan Omar into saying Jews were hypnotizing the world, or that Jews were controlling American politics with their money, or that Jews were engaged in a conspiracy to force her to apologize for her words. She said these things herself, on her own, without prompting. They have nothing to do with “policy,” or with her pain as a Somali refugee, or anything else. They have to do with her idea that evil Jews are manipulating reality. This is as anti-Semitic as anti-Semitism gets.

Democrats aren’t choosing to stand against anti-Semitism in their ranks. Everyone in that party is bowing to the radical left, from presidential contenders caving to socialism to Pelosi giving in to Omar’s anti-Semitic rants. Those who do stand, like Rahm Emmanual, get ignored by mainstream Democrats.

And the Democrats are not only siding against Jews, they’re also telling Jews to check their privilege. South Carolina Democratic House Majority Whip James Clyburn defended Omar by saying Omar’s experiences as a Somali refugee are more personal to her than Jews with parents who survived the Holocaust, and they needed to understand “Omar’s pain.”

Corbynism has come to America, and the liberals in this country are embracing it. American Jews dealt with the rise of neo-Nazis for the past few years, and now they see anti-Semitism becoming a prominent feature of the Democratic Party.

The constant threat of anti-Semitism is why now, more than ever, America and Israel must stand together to prevent Jews from being attacked again. It’s not about dual loyalty. It’s about standing against the global rise of anti-Semitism that Omar and Corbyn represent. That position deserves support by itself, with no qualifiers.

Democrats refused to defend Jews this week. The party of Lincoln must stand in the gap.


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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.