Democrats and Anti-Semitism
It's happening right before our eyes. Even though it's not reported in the New York Times or the Detroit Free Press, the Democratic Party is moving toward increased Judeophobia even as most Jews still shower them with their support. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were both given heroes' welcomes into the party and plum committee assignments. We've been reporting on both Tlaib and Omar, but with each new day, there is something new to report.
Even though the American mainstream press is ignoring Tlaib's anti-Semitism, others are noticing - in Lebanon.
While Tlaib was strengthening her relations with Hamideh, the U.S. was busy increasing pressure on Lebanon because of Hezbollah, el-Husseini writes. The journalist claims there is American documentation that connects Tlaib to the “opposition axis,” which in all probability is a reference to Iran and its allies. El-Husseini further alleges Tlaib changed some of her pre-election pledges because of her relationship with Hamideh, particularly regarding the Palestinian issue.
“Why does a new member of Congress behave in this way by publicly supporting a person who in turn publicly supports Hezbollah, which in turn is supported by Iran?” asks el-Husseini. “I came to my conclusion at the very moment Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the Middle East to discuss a way to block Iran’s hostile opposition and its intervention in the affairs of Arab countries, its support of Hamas in Gaza at the expense of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, while at the same time Washington encourages Lebanon to do whatever it can to reduce Hezbollah’s influence on all [Lebanon’s] institutions.
“Maybe Tlaib should ask Hamideh what the Lebanese people are asking: To where does Hezbollah want to take Lebanon?”
El-Husseini accuses Tlaib of naivete, pointing out that Tehran is merely using the Palestinian issue as a smokescreen to “cover [Iran’s] aspirations to expand into Arab countries.” She also accuses Iran of involving Syria in a war with Israel after the Syrian civil war has virtually ended.
Lori Lowenthal Marcus has this piece on Ilhan Omar:
Omar, a Somalia-born Muslim, was responding to a question posed during an interview by Zainab Salbi, the host of the Yahoo News talk show, Through Her Eyes, which aired Tuesday, Jan. 29. “How can America work productively towards a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” Salbi asked.
“By having an equal approach to dealing with both,” Omar first responded. She went on to explain that she has always found it “aggravating” that the U.S. has a policy to treat Israel as “superior’ to the Arab Palestinians.
Omar bemoaned that the U.S. “mask[s]” its preference as a conversation that’s about ‘justice’ and a two state solution, when you have policies that clearly prioritize one over the other.”
When pressed to give an example, Omar complied: “When I see Israel institute a law that recognizes it as a Jewish state and does not recognize the other religions that are living in it and we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East, I almost chuckle because I know that if we see that in any other society we would criticize it. We would call it out. We do that to Iran. We do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion.”
That law, which Omar mischaracterized, was voted into law by Israel’s government last July. Its official title is Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People. It defines Israel as “the historical homeland of the Jewish people” and its “historical right to self-determination.”
Contrary to Omar’s claim the law did absolutely nothing to change the status of any religion in Israel, and freedom of religion for all religions is already enshrined in Israeli law.
But as Marcus correctly points out:
According to the Pew Research Center, Islam is the religion of 30 of the 83 nations in the world with an official or preferred state religion.
Of the remaining 53 nations, 41 (plus the Vatican) are Christian states, and five are Buddhist, with several having more than one preferred religion. Israel is the only Jewish state in the world; but Judaism is not the official religion of the State of Israel. Israel does not have an official religion.
Moreover, Omar derided the U.S. for treating Israel as a democracy, claiming that Israel “upholds” Judaism as part of its official law, in her interview.
Meanwhile, in Somalia, the land of Omar's birth:
According to a United Nations report, the women of Somalia suffer from a clan-based culture which promotes strict male hierarchy and authority. Somali women have strict religious and cultural limitations placed on them; they are either entirely “excluded from formal decision making and asset ownership or operate through a patriarchal filter.”
Somali women also have severely high rates of maternal mortality, rape, violence against women and child marriage. In Somalia, “women’s access to justice is restricted both within the formal, clan-based and sharia-based judicial systems.”
Then there is New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, who has recently declared himself a 2020 presidential candidate.
Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) voted against pro-Israel legislation to combat the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, a departure from his previous condemnation of those who boycott Israel.
Last year, Booker was seen as standing "alone," being the sole 2020 Democratic hopeful in the Senate to vocally oppose BDS. On Tuesday, however, he voted against the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act of 2019, which provides aid to Israel and allows states to refuse to do business with companies that boycott Israel.
The legislation passed a procedural vote by a margin of 76 to 22. Votes against the bill came exclusively from Democrats, including Booker and prospective 2020 candidates Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.).
This is the beginning. Movements for good or evil begin with a few voices. Then they grow. Things will get worse. Yes, there are solidly pro-Israel and pro-Jewish Democrats who will try to turn this tide, but the anti-Jewish tide has always been a tough tide to turn. The question comes down to Jewish Democrats. How long before they raise their voices? Will they raise their voices? Not like Bernie Sanders, who has planted his flag on the Judeophobic side, but as proud Jews who are not afraid to stand for Jews and Judaism. Without those voices, the Democrats will be as vile and hypocritical as the British Labour Party.