Links for You
A lot has been happening, too many things to take the time for individual posts. So here are links to articles you may want to read. Grab a cup of coffee, and find a comfortable place to park yourself.
Those who voted against the measure also included five U.S. senators who have announced their intentions to run for president in 2020: Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders. (The full list of those who voted against the bill follows this article.)
On January 8th, Lima Taub tweeted the following against US Representative Rashida Tlaib: “A Hamas loving anti-Semite has NO place in government! She is a danger and would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill.”
The tweet sparked outrage, both from the press, which labeled Taub “anti-Muslim,” and the radical Muslim community, which described her post as “Islamophobic.” To most reasonable people, the reaction the tweet invited was a severe overreaction, as Taub’s post merely singles out one individual – that being Tlaib – and never goes as far as to disparage all Muslims or their faith.
Contrary to the criticism and abuse she received, Commissioner Taub’s words, while perhaps somewhat hyperbolic, should be welcomed. The tweet is well-deserved by Congresswoman Tlaib, who no doubt has exhibited the type of anti-Semitism and extremist behavior that warrants such words and warnings.
It is Tlaib who has called for a ‘one-state solution’ regarding Israel and her Palestinian neighbors, which of course would result in the destruction of Israel. Tlaib recently flaunted this, when she – smiling broadly – allowed herself to be photographed with a map broadcasting a Post-it note renaming Israel “Palestine.” It is Tlaib who brought up the anti-Semitic canard of ‘dual loyalty,’ when she questioned the loyalty of US Senators after they came out against the BDS boycotting of Israel. It is precisely these actions that have provided Tlaib a formal condemnation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Furthermore, it is Tlaib who has cavorted with known terrorist supporters, such as Abbas Hamideh, who referred to convicted child-killer Samir Kuntar as a “legendary Hezbollah martyr.” Tlaib’s fanatical views and associations are a threat to our government and society.
Commissioner Taub’s words contained legitimate accusations and concerns, and she should be commended for them, not criticized. However, like the media and Muslim radicals, Taub’s fellow commissioners went after her, voting to censure her.
In 2015, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 and injured 22 more at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. They were killed in a shootout with police later that day. Farook had a life insurance policy and checked it to make sure it was still valid right before the attack, and his mother fought to remain the beneficiary. In 2017, a state representative in Minnesota introduced a bill that would allow insurance companies to limit payments to beneficiaries if the insured’s death occurs directly or indirectly because of “furtherance of terrorism.” The bill passed 127-2. One person voted against it because he thought there was a loophole that could cause insurance companies to not pay for legitimate claims. The other person was Ilhan Omar, new member of Congress. Omar literally wanted terrorist families to be paid by life insurance companies if they get killed by police after their attacks. Knowing her politics and sympathies, I don't know any other way of interpreting her vote except as an explicit support for terrorists on American soil.
Coming on the heels of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) anti-Semitic statements and subsequent apology, another Democratic politician was forced to apologize for vitriolic statements about Israel. Ibraheem Samirah, a dentist and the Democratic nominee in a special election next week for a seat in the 86th District of Virginia’s House of Delegates, issued a written apology Friday for a slew of statements, made on social media over several years, including one comparing Israel to the KKK and another wishing for the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to “burn in hell.”
Coming so closely on the heels of Omar’s controversial statements, and following similar support for radical anti-Israel measures by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)—for whom Samirah served as a campaign official charged with getting out the vote—Samirah’s candidacy is further evidence of a fundamental sea change in Democratic party politics. “In one generation,” said Kyle Shideler, a scholar with the Middle East Forum think tank, “positions once viewed as radical—literally held up only by groups the U.S. government says were affiliated with Hamas—have now became mainstream and are presented totally without apology.”
In his apology letter, Samirah characterized his earlier remarks as the ill-considered statements of a young student, while, at the same time, arguing that he was the victim of a “slander campaign.”
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Samirah’s campaign has not made the candidate available for comment, and did not reply to a detailed list of questions sent to them via email.
Finally, there are questions surrounding Samirah’s description of himself as a “second generation Palestinian refugee.”
Plenty has already been written about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s antisemitic tweets. But what was the reaction in her home state of Minnesota?
One standout piece in the local media appears courtesy of the Minnesota Star Tribune where Ahmed Tharwat, described as the host/producer of the Arab American TV show, BelAhdan, writes some very disturbing things in defense of Omar.
According to Tharwat:
In the end, Omar caved in, surrendering to the intimidation of a system that demonizes any critic of Israel, a system full of hypes, hypocrisies and dishonesties.
There is nothing dishonest or hypocritical about calling out antisemitism wherever it occurs and the real dishonesty is that of Tharwat for making this incident about Israel and turning Ilhan Omar into the victim.
According to estimates reported by the Jewish Virtual Library, Hillary Clinton won 71 percent of the Jewish vote in her losing race against Donald Trump, Barack Obama won 78 percent and 69 percent of the Jewish vote in his two presidential races, and John Kerry won 76 percent of the Jewish vote in the 2004 presidential race. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson each won 90 percent of the Jewish vote.
And Jews have always played a disproportionate role as fundraisers and campaign volunteers supporting the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates.
But now the Democratic Party is no longer in full support of the Jewish state, pushed by the rising radical fringe that is more supportive of Palestinian terrorists who murder innocent Jewish civilians than it is of Jewish people who have created a democracy with legal protections for all in their ancient homeland.
As a Democrat, nothing concerns me more than witnessing a cornerstone of our party platform get vanquished by the loudest, most extreme and often most hostile members of a bifurcated party.
I would say the same thing if the Democratic Party embraced hatred of African-Americans, Muslims, gay Americans or another minority group. Anti-Semitism should be no more acceptable than these other forms of prejudice – not just for Jewish Americans, but for all Americans.
Of course, you don’t have to be an anti-Semite to be anti-Zionist — but it helps. We saw this dog whistle becoming more audible during the recent liberal crackup over the Women’s March.
What began as feminists expressing solidarity with Palestinians evolved into a claim from organizers Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez that “Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people,” according to Tablet magazine.
Mallory had ties to arch-anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, and it was revealed this weekthat freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., wrote for Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam newsletter The Final Call in 2006.
Tlaib had also tripped on a trope last month when she accused members of Congress of dual loyalties when it came to Israel.
Meanwhile, Women’s March organizer and Israel critic Linda Sarsour surprised no one by rushing to Rep. Omar’s defense along with — also no surprise — former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.
The main takeaway from this incident ought to be that as much as there is a growing constituency for hatred of Israel, there are also clear limits as to how far its advocates can go without be held accountable.
There should be no doubt that this outbreak of hatred won’t be stopped until those like Omar and Tlaib are isolated by their colleagues. But the stand of Pelosi and many other Democrats proves that left-wing Israel-haters aren’t succeeding in demonizing or isolating friends of the Jewish state. Indeed, a broad cross-section of Democrats and a united Republican Party denounced Omar. Her only defenders were marginal figures on the far-left.
Anti-Semitism has never succeeded in the United States in the past or as it has elsewhere in our own day. Israel is still broadly popular, and anti-Semites remain outliers rather than, as in Britain, poised on the brink of national power. Jew-haters remain a threat but they remain far from their goal of power. As much as we may lament that Omar and Tlaib are barely getting their wrists slapped, we shouldn’t confuse their ability to survive with political success. The United States remains a place where Jews needn’t fear displaying their love for Israel or their faith in the public square, and there is no reason to think that will change.