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

 

War with Iran Isn’t on the Horizon. So Why All the Arguments against It?

As the U.S. has responded to Iranian provocations in the Persian Gulf, various observers in the press have argued that National Security Advisor John Bolton somehow seeks to drag President Trump into a war with Iran against his will. Matthew Continetti points out the absurdities of this argument, and its origins:

Never mind that President Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, and Bolton have not said a single word about a preemptive strike, much less a full-scale war, against Iran. Never mind that the president’s reluctance for overseas intervention is well known. The “anti-war” cries are not about context, and they are certainly not about deterring Iran. Their goal is saving President Obama’s nuclear deal by manipulating Trump into firing Bolton and extending a lifeline to the regime.

It’s a storyline that originated in Iran. Toward the end of April, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif showed up in New York and gave an interview to Reuters where he said, “I don’t think [Trump] wants war,” but “that doesn’t exclude him basically being lured into one” by Bolton. . . . And now this regime talking point is everywhere. “It’s John Bolton’s world. Trump is just living in it,” write two former Obama officials in the Los Angeles Times. “John Bolton is Donald Trump’s war whisperer,” writes Peter Bergen on CNN.com. . . .

Recall Obama’s deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes’s admission to the New York Times Magazine in 2016 [that] “We created an echo chamber” to attack the Iran deal’s opponents through leaks and tips to the D.C. press. . . . Members of the echo chamber aren’t for attacking Iran, but they are all for slandering its American opponents. The latest target is Bolton. . . .

The Iranians are in a box. U.S. sanctions are crushing the economy, but if they leave the agreement with Europe they will be back to square one. To escape the box you try to punch your way out. That’s why Iran has assumed a threatening posture: provoking an American attack could bolster waning domestic support for the regime and divide the Western alliance.

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More about: Barack Obama, Iran, Javad Zarif, John Bolton, U.S. Foreign policy