Democratic Legislators Rush to Excuse Anti-Semitism

March 11 2019

To Matthew Continetti, the repeated statements by freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar about nefarious influences behind American support for Israel are part of a deliberate effort “to mainstream anti-Semitic rhetoric within the Democratic party.” He considers why Omar’s fellow House Democrats have failed to come together to stop her but have instead chosen to make excuses:

[The Democrats] are tripping over themselves, making rationalizations, dodging reality, and trying to clean up this anti-Semitic mess. Omar is new to this, they say. She never intended to come across as anti-Semitic. She can’t help it. “She comes from a different culture.” She didn’t know what she was saying—she’s a moron! She’s just trying to “start a conversation” about the policies of Israel’s government. And why are you singling her out, anyway? “She is living through a lot of pain.” She’s black, she’s a woman, and she’s Muslim. You can’t condemn her without also condemning white men of privilege. What are you, racist? Islamophobic? Shame on you for picking on this poor lady, who just happens to say that American Jews serve a foreign power by buying off politicians and using the Force to blinker people’s minds. . . .

Whatever control Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had over her majority vanished the second she delayed the resolution condemning Omar, [which was then replaced by one mentioning anti-Semitism among a laundry list of other sins]. Identity politics has rendered the Democrats incapable of criticizing anti-Semitism so long as [that politics] dons the wardrobe of intersectionality. . . .

What’s next for [Omar and her hard-left allies in Congress], finding a candidate to [run against] pro-Israel Democrat Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee on which Omar sits? Challenging Chuck Schumer in the Democratic primary when he’s up for reelection in 2022? . . .

[Meanwhile, Senators] Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and [Bernie] Sanders have all made the claim that Omar has done nothing but criticize the policies of Benjamin Netanyahu. That’s a bald-faced lie, a falsehood not one of the hundreds upon hundreds of reporters covering the Democratic field has scrutinized.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Congress, Democrats, Ilhan Omar, Politics & Current Affairs, US-Israel relations

Despite What the UN Says, the Violence at the Gaza Border Is Military, Not Civilian, in Nature

March 22 2019

On Monday, a UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry issued its final report on last spring’s disturbances at the Gaza border. Geoffrey Corn and Peter Margulies explain why the report is fatally flawed:

The commission framed the events [in Gaza] as a series of demonstrations that were “civilian in nature.” Israel and its Supreme Court, [which has investigated some of the killings that occurred], framed the same events quite differently: as a new evolution in Israel’s ongoing armed conflict with the terrorist organization Hamas. Consistency and common sense suggest that the Israeli High Court of Justice’s framing is a more rational explanation of what occurred at the Israel-Gaza border in spring 2018.

Kites, [for instance], played a telltale role [in the violence]. When most people think of kites, they think of a child’s plaything or a hobbyist’s harmless passion. In the Gaza confrontation, kites [became] a new and effective, albeit low-tech, tactic for attacking Israel. As the report conceded, senior Gaza leaders, including from Hamas, “encouraged” the unleashing of waves of incendiary kites that during and since the spring 2018 confrontations have burned thousands of acres of arable land within Israel. The resulting destruction included fires that damaged the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which conveys goods and gasoline from Israel to Gaza. . . .

Moreover, the incendiary-kite offensive was an effective diversion from the efforts encouraged and coordinated by Hamas last spring to pierce the border with Israel and attack both IDF personnel and the civilian residents of the beleaguered Israeli towns a short distance from the border fence. . . .

The commission also failed to acknowledge that Hamas sought to use civilians as an operational cover to move members of its armed wing into position along the fence. For IDF commanders, this increased the importance of preventing a breach [in the fence]. Large crowds directly along the fence would simplify breakthrough attempts by intermingled Hamas and other belligerent operatives. The crowds themselves also could attempt to pour through any breach. Unfortunately, the commission seems to have completely omitted any credible assessment of the potential casualties on all sides that would have resulted from IDF action to seal a breach once it was achieved. . . .

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Laws of war, UNHRC, United Nations