Muslim Congressmen Should Be Held Accountable for Their Anti-Semitism

The current House of Representatives includes two female Muslim members—a first, and a cause for much celebration in the press. As of this week, both have made their anti-Semitism public. Ilhan Omar, in 2012, wrote that “Israel has hypnotized the world,” while Rashida Tlaib on Sunday declared that supporters of legislation before the Senate that would curb boycotts of Israel “forgot which country they represent.” Siraj Hashmi comments:

During the 2018 campaign, Omar was not supportive of the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). But as soon as the election ended, she announced her support to the publication MuslimGirl. BDS has long been accused of promoting an anti-Semitic agenda that would bring an end to the Jewish state. . . .

To her credit, Tlaib, [for her part], later clarified her statement by saying she was accusing senators, not Jews, of having dual loyalties. However, Tlaib’s clarification can [nevertheless] be considered anti-Semitic, since it again suggests that the state of Israel—and, by extension, Jews—is conspiring to control the world and, in particular, sitting U.S. senators. . . . .

Omar and Tlaib weren’t the only ones [whose conduct] crossed well into the territory of anti-Semitism. Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim elected to Congress and is now Minnesota’s attorney general, was repeatedly denounced by Jewish groups, particularly in the past year, for his ties to the raging anti-Semite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

[W]e shouldn’t allow their ideas to give the impression to other Americans that [these individuals represent] monolithic thinking among Muslims both in the United States and around the world. It shouldn’t be difficult to be critical of the policies and actions of a government and not make sweeping generalizations that devolve into hatred for an entire group of people. The biggest challenge will be how long [these congresswomen’s] supporters let this conduct continue before they call them out on it. If the current state of politics has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t hold our breath.

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More about: American Muslims, Anti-Semitism, BDS, Congress, Louis Farrakhan, Politics & Current Affairs, Rashida Tlaib

By Recognizing Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan, the U.S. Has Freed Israel from “Land for Peace”

March 25 2019

In the 52 years since Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria, there have been multiple efforts to negotiate their return in exchange for Damascus ending its continuous war against the Jewish state. Shmuel Rosner argues that, with his announcement on Thursday acknowledging the legitimacy of Jerusalem’s claim to the Golan, Donald Trump has finally decoupled territorial concessions from peacemaking:

[With] the takeover of much of Syria by Iran and its proxies, . . . Israel had no choice but to give up on the idea of withdrawing from the Golan Heights. But this reality involves a complete overhaul of the way the international community thinks not just about the Golan Heights but also about all of the lands Israel occupied in 1967. . . .

Withdrawal worked for Israel once, in 1979, when it signed a peace agreement with Egypt and left the Sinai Peninsula, which had also been occupied in 1967. But that also set a problematic precedent. President Anwar Sadat of Egypt insisted that Israel hand back the entire peninsula to the last inch. Israel decided that the reward was worth the price, as a major Arab country agreed to break with other Arab states and accept Israel’s legitimacy.

But there was a hidden, unanticipated cost: Israel’s adversaries, in future negotiations, would demand the same kind of compensation. The 1967 line—what Israel controlled before the war—became the starting point for all Arab countries, including Syria. It became a sacred formula, worshiped by the international community.

What President Trump is doing extends far beyond the ability of Israel to control the Golan Heights, to settle it, and to invest in it. The American president is setting the clock back to before the peace deal with Egypt, to a time when Israel could argue that the reward for peace is peace—not land. Syria, of course, is unlikely to accept this. At least not in the short term. But maybe someday, a Syrian leader will come along who doesn’t entertain the thought that Israel might agree to return to the pre-1967 line and who will accept a different formula for achieving peace.

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More about: Donald Trump, Golan Heights, Israel & Zionis, Peace Process, Sinai Peninsula, Syria