Jewish Democrat Speaks Out Against Colleagues After Anti-Semitism Condemnation Turns into Political Game
It was one of the most misleading headlines I’ve seen in some time, courtesy of NPR: “House Votes To Condemn Anti-Semitism After Rep. Omar’s Comments.”
Yes, they did vote to condemn anti-Semitism after Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, accused some American Jews of dual loyalty in the immediate aftermath of a tweet in which she said that America’s support of Israel was “all about the Benjamins baby.” They also voted to condemn pretty much any sort of bigotry and did not mention Omar by name, thus making the purpose of a rebuke meaningless.
“I thought the resolution should enlarge the issue to anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and white supremacy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
In fact, according to the Washington Examiner, here’s what the resolution listed before it actually tackled specific instances of anti-Semitic hatred: hate against “African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others with verbal attacks, incitement, and violence.”
In short, this wasn’t a condemnation of Omar. This was the Democrats congratulating themselves on how much they loathe hatred while letting a hate-filled colleague off the hook because she’s one of them.
It was so much of a cop-out that Omar was able to tout it on Twitter without taking any personal responsibility:
Our nation is having a difficult conversation, but we believe this is great progress. pic.twitter.com/gSua9a8mki
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) March 7, 2019
I’m sure it is for you, yes. Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, didn’t quite concur.
“This resolution is a fine resolution and I will support it, but I am very disappointed that we weren’t able to have a separate resolution to specifically condemn anti-Semitism and what our colleague said that really was a very hateful term,” Engel said in a speech on the House floor.
“I hope we can put everything together in this House. I know we can. I know people on both sides of the aisle want to work together and we want to stomp out any form of hatred, particularly anti-Semitism. I will continue to work with anybody who wants to do that,” he added.
And yet, even though he had the courage to call out Omar for her comments, Engel is part of the problem.
Why? Well, as you may notice from the caption on the video, Engel is the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Another individual who sits on the committee? Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Yet, despite the fact the Foreign Affairs Committee deals with, inter alia, issues regarding Israel and its enemies, Engel refuses to push to get Omar off of the committee.
“No, I’m not close to it,” Engel told CNN Tuesday.
“First of all, it’s not up to me. This is done by the leadership. I don’t know that that would do anything except exacerbate the situation even more. I’m looking to get rid of anti-Semitism, not looking to punish anybody.”
Wait, so taking an anti-Semite off of a committee that deals with Israel would “exacerbate the situation” how? And if you don’t punish people for anti-Semitism, how do you “get rid of anti-Semitism?” Engel seems to imply this would happen, in Omar’s case, through growth and reflection from her non-punishment punishment. This growth and reflection has not manifested itself in any visible manner during the last, oh, three or four times that Omar has done something similar.
When Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican, make remarks questioning whether the terms “white nationalist” or “white supremacy” could be considered offensive, a resolution naming and shaming him was quickly passed through the House and he was stripped of his committee assignments. When Omar yet again perpetuated anti-Semitic stereotypes, this wholly inconsequential resolution was the result and her committee assignments weren’t touched. There, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between how the two parties handle these sorts of things.
What the resolution has proved is that the Corbynization of the Democrat Party is afoot, if not almost entirely affected. The leadership of the party proved itself almost entirely neutered when dealing with blatant anti-Semitism. They refused to name Omar in the resolution at first, then they watered it down to include every type of hatred so that it was essentially meaningless.
Meanwhile, an avowed enemy of not just the state of Israel but American Jewry — who she claims may have “dual loyalties” — can gloat at her newfound power.
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